The New Jersey state legislature will consider the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes during the 2015 session. With other states such as Maine, Georgia, and New Hampshire also expected to consider similar bills - the race will be on for the 5th State to defy federal prohibition on the plant.
The bill was expected to be announced on Monday by State Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union). He introduced similar legislation during last year's legislative session that would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for people aged 21 or older. He will continue the fight in 2015 and beyond.
"We’re not delusional about how simple the effort would be," Sen. Scutari said in a NJ.com news report. "But I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction."
It may not be easy, but the issue is clearly gaining traction with voters. According to a Quinnipiac University survey conducted earlier this year, 48 percent of registered New Jersey voters support legalizing marijuana while 48 percent are in opposition. Although it is currently deadlocked, the rising tide in favor of legalization cannot be denied. The results in Colorado are especially harmful to the arguments of the prohibitionists.
According to a June 2014 report from the Drug Policy Alliance, the legalization experiment in Colorado has resulted in less criminal behavior, more tax revenue for essential government services, the reduction of strain in our overcrowded prison system and an economic uptick. The ridiculous talking 'Reefer Madness' talking points that have been repeated ad infinitum for so many years by the drug warriors are finally being disproven, once and for all.
The great thing about these types of reforms is that they are completely Constitutional, and there is nothing the feds can do about it.
The momentum is on our side, but New Jersey cannot legalize marijuana without your help. Sen. Scutari needs support for his bill to achieve victory. If you live in New Jersey, call your state senators and politely urge them to co-sponsor Sen. Scutari's proposed measure to legalize marijuana. Call your state assemblymen as well, and urge them to introduce similar legislation in their chamber. You can find their contact information HERE.
If you do not live in New Jersey, you can still work to fight marijuana prohibition in your state. Call your state legislators and urge them to introduce a bill that will work as a supportive effort to Sen. Scutari's proposed measure in New Jersey such as our P.E.A.C.E. Act. You can find their contact information HERE.