Jun 182015
 June 18, 2015

new jersey medical marijuanaA significant majority of New Jerseyans support legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll. The poll was conducted in partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance.

The poll found that 58 percent of New Jersey residents support legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana like alcohol for adults 21 and over. Those surveyed were most persuaded to support marijuana legalization and regulation as a result of New Jersey’s costly marijuana laws. New Jersey wastes more than $125 million a year arresting people for marijuana possesssion. This absurd policy criminalizes otherwise law-abiding citizens and wastes law enforcement resources that would be better spent on serious crime and public safety issues.

“Support for legalization in New Jersey is growing, which mirrors national polls,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “By asking a question that makes clear legalization for adults 21 and over would come with taxes and regulation, we provided context that may account for some of the 9-point jump in support from our April 2014 poll. Even so, no matter how the question is asked, we have been seeing a long-term upward trend in favor of marijuana legalization among New Jerseyans.”

Advocates say the polling bolsters calls for reform. “More than 22,000 individuals were arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey in 2010 at a cost of more than $125 million dollars,” said Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “New Jerseyans believe that our current marijuana laws are unfair and wasteful. These laws should be changed now.”

Advocates emphasize that tax revenue from the sale of marijuana could generate millions of dollars to fund projects that help all New Jersey residents. Four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington) and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana. Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012, has generated $74.5 million of tax revenue from marijuana to date.

“Legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana will generate much-needed revenue for the state to fund important programs, at a time when New Jersey is struggling to meet its financial obligations. Legalization would also create jobs in sales, production and related services, which will spur economic activity,” said Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union). “The majority of people in America and in New Jersey support legalizing marijuana, and this is more evidence this is the direction we need to go in. It’s well past time that we updated our archaic drug laws nationally. But we should take the lead in New Jersey because it is the right thing to do for our residents and the responsible thing to do for our state.”

Senator Scutari has introduced a bill that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults. The bill, Senate Bill 1896, and its companion, Assembly Bill 3094, sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Hunterdon and Mercer) and Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union) create a system, similar to Colorado’s, where marijuana would be controlled and regulated like alcohol at every step of the production and sales process.

Reforming New Jersey’s failed marijuana laws would also reduce the worst injustices of the current system. Advocates point out the appalling racial disparities in marijuana arrests. Although statistics show that people of all races use marijuana at the same rates, people of color overwhelmingly suffer the criminal consequences. In New Jersey, African Americans are arrested for marijuana possession at nearly three times the rate of whites.

Once an individual is convicted of even a minor possession offense, he or she is subject to a system of legal discrimination that makes it difficult or impossible to secure housing, employment, public assistance, federal student aid for higher education, and even a basic driver’s license.

“New Jersey’s marijuana laws are failing people of color by perpetuating injustice within our state’s most vulnerable communities,” said Richard Smith, President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP. “Legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana will be a step forward in reducing the disproportionate burden the criminal justice system has on people of color in New Jersey and provide new sources of revenue to invest in our communities for education, jobs and public safety.”

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

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  16 Responses to “New Jersey: New Poll Finds Majority Support For Legalizing Marijuana”

  1.  

    Chris Christie’s stance is that we can’t legalize marijuana, it’d be like accepting blood money. It’s still illegal federally, after all. Hard to argue with that…

    Except for that whole NJ made online gambling “legal”…despite it being illegal federally…and money from gambling, which statistically preys on the poor, is definitely not blood money.

  2.  

    NJ wants legal pot, you got to get rid of Christie first.

  3.  

    Like most Americans I strongly support the full, complete legalization of Marijuana, but even more strongly, I urge everyone to call the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so that Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it for their patients, especially for every Cancer Patient that wants and needs it. Every minute an American dies of Cancer — and its a horrible way to die. Every single one of them deserves the right to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

  4.  

    Like most Americans I strongly support the full, complete legalization of Marijuana, but even more strongly, I urge everyone to call the white house and ask that the President remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so that Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it for their patients, especially for every Cancer Patient that wants and needs it. Every minute an American dies of Cancer — and its a horrible way to die. Every single one of them deserves the right to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

  5.  

    The Drug Policy Alliance puts up a really noble fight for the cannabis cause, hiring many incredibly talented Americans (a big virtual hug to you in the Big Apple, Melody Lee!). But the truth is that such polls are scoffed at and deemed totally irrelevant in the petty dictatorships of New Jersey and New York. In both states, the reality on the ground for cannabis plants–and their highly cherished seedless female flowers–is similarly harsh: Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are two of the most staunch defenders of the Anti-Marihuana Tyranny. Their hearts are stone cold on this matter. As long as these arrogant men remain in office, turning their deaf ears to the pleas of desperate constituents anxious to try medical cannabis in legal markets, there will be little to no cannabis freedom in New Jersey or New York.

    •  

      I didn’t vote for Cuomo this last time…I truly believe Cuomo needs to be incarcerated for allowing 4 children die while waiting for medical mj…when he could easily pass CBD for those who need it…

      •  

        No, If a bill is going to be passed it should be one that benefits all people that are ill. CBD oils help a very small percentage of the people and is equivalent to kissing babies for photo ops. All medical symptoms.

  6.  

    At what point do voters start to take notice that some of the things they hold most dear keep getting shot down by those they vote into office? Shouldn’t there be enough outrage to have Christie recalled and have a interim governor who more aligns with the public’s needs and desires? They did it in Ca. to Grey: Why not to Christie?

  7.  

    Watch Crispie Critter change his tune after seeing this poll… or he’s not as smart as he this thinks.

    •  

      Definitely not as smart as he thinks..

    •  

      I used to think he was politically astute even when I disagreed with him, but after joining the Koch party he has gone off the rails and certainly does not care one bit about what New Jersey citizens think.

    •  

      Crispie Kreme is pandering to the GOP base because he’s running for president. He doesn’t give two shiats about NJ. He sees it as a stepping stone in his political career.

  8.  

    I q­ui­t m­­y previous work and since then I make Eighty-Five Dollars per/hour. How? I am working via internet from my home! My old work didn’t make me happy ,s­o I decided to try something new for a change… Two yrs have passed since And I can say I couldn’t be happier! This is what i do…

  9.  

    chris christie is gunna veto it cuz hes a retarded fat fuck

  10.  

    Christie Is A Dumb Fat Piece Of Shit. As Long As Its Keeping People Of Color In The System HHe Will Never Legalize It. Good For Nothing Ass Republicans

  11.  

    As a former police Chief of 35 years and director of a drug education program I endorse the sale of recreational marijuana to help ease the tax burden on residents, take the state out of debt, force the state to pay back the billions of borrowed pension monies and help both the educational system and senior communities and free up police to do their job.

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