Today, the State of New Jersey’s Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding its first hearing on the legalization of marijuana in the state.
This progressive action could be a possible standard for all states who are starting to realize the reality of the use of marijuana by its citizens. With this attitude, otherwise law-abiding citizens will not have their lives ruined by having to face arrest if caught using or carrying a small amount.
If this action by New Jersey comes to fruition (legalization of marijuana), they will be joining Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and the District of Columbia in the expanding circle of states who have come to the realization that the push for legalization of marijuana is a sensible, growing “grass” root movement.
The taxation will contribute to infrastructure repair and upgrades, drug and alcohol abuse programs, and regulation of marijuana could be handled the same as adult alcohol consumption. It’s a “no-brain-er.”
The benefits to the average citizen’s life who uses marijuana, will mean:
- no criminal record;
- no legal discrimination;
- no difficulty to secure employment or housing;
- no difficulty to obtain student loans or drivers’ licenses;
- no stigma or embarrassment;
- no need to hire an attorney;
- no lost hours from work or school and
- no more 3 times more arrests of people of color for possession than for whites.
The benefits to the state with legalization of marijuana would be:
- no more arrests for possession, saving the state over $100M a year;
- police resources would be free to handle serious criminal issues;
- an increase of the budget for important state issues without increasing or perhaps even lowering state taxes.
Making it legal in New Jersey will allow regulated, safe marijuana to be available, taking it off the black market where quality and safety is always in question.
The committee will be listening to testimony on taxation, legalization and regulation. The testimonials will be given by experts who have been invited to the hearings. The names of those people have not been disclosed at this time.
[Image and inspiration for this post is from “The Weed Blog.”]