Will there be more Weed in the Garden State? Conversations lately have turned to a topic that has come up in nearly every stoner circle across the country at one time or another: legalizing marijuana. Colorado and Washington are currently reaping the financial and social benefits of legalizing the leafy green plant. Will Governor Chris Christie be getting the munchies anytime soon?
Democratic senator Nicholas Scutari announced on Monday a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Many conservatives, including Governor Chris Christie oppose the idea of the bill. The bill will be designed to allow marijuana to be grown in the backyards of New Jersey residents, similar to laws surrounding brewing beer at home.
Financially, the taxes from legalizing recreational marijuana could make the state hundreds of millions of dollars. This could be a smart move for the state with a prediction of saving at least 100 million annually in court costs as well as a 7% tax on marijuana. Most of the money, 70%, is said to go towards the transportation department to aid in the building of roads across New Jersey. The could potentially be cementing a road for future financial success. However if you haven’t heard, Chris Christie is no stranger to road blocks following the recent George Washington Bridge scandal.
Will this idea be a burn out? Governor Chris Christie has made his opinion public by saying he would never sign a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. Chris Christie was sworn into his 2nd term this last January, making any progress on the bill hindered significantly until his term expires. What does the public think? A recent poll suggests that 59% of New Jersey residents would be pro legalizing marijuana. Will the Governor be willing to listen to the people?
You may be asking yourself this: If it’s so cool, why doesn’t everyone do it? The fact is that at least 17 other states have proposed bills to legalize marijuana in some fashion or another. In pharmacy, we always ask if the benefit of treatment outweighs the risks and side effects. Do the benefits of legalizing outweigh the risks? We already allow cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking, so will marijuana really push the envelope? You be the judge.
Source: Associated Press