New Jersey: Legal Pot in 100 Days? 

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  New Jersey: Legal Pot in 100 Days? 

Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2017 at 05:20:05 PT
By Steven Nelson 
Source: Washington Examiner 

New Jersey -- New Jersey Gov. elect Phil Murphy said he would legalize marijuana within 100 days of taking office in January, and his Tuesday win makes a Democrat-packed statehouse the only obstacle. Supporters feel confident it will happen, but legalization foes plan to campaign for Democratic defections as the other side debates different visions for reform.Legalization in the state — across the river from both New York City and Philadelphia — would be significant geographically, but also because no state has passed legalization legislatively, despite Gallup putting national support at 64 percent.
Thus far, recreational marijuana legalization only has come through ballot measures, so far in eight states. The first retail shops opened in 2014 in Colorado and Washington.Support for legalization doesn’t fall neatly along party lines, and it's possible some Democrats will join most Republicans to stall or even derail plans in New Jersey, as has happened in Vermont and New Hampshire.But New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, told the Washington Examiner he feels confident that legalization will become law before April, with stores opening sometime in 2019.“This is something Murphy supports and I support it and I don’t think anyone is going to go out of their way to embarrass the governor,” Sweeney said. “It’s a priority and it’s something we’re going to need to do.”Sweeney said even if there are Democratic defections, “at least a couple” Republicans in the state Senate support legalization. He said he’s less familiar with the breakdown of support in the lower chamber, but that with Democrats in control he doubts the effort is in jeopardy.Legislation already has taken form, drafted by Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari with Sweeney's backing. Controversially, the bill doesn’t allow home cultivation — permitted in seven of the eight legalization states and in Washington, D.C., where shops are blocked by Congress.Amid likely debate about home cultivation, Kevin Sabet, leader of national anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said he’s angling to thwart Murphy's ambition.“We have been organizing for more than a year,” he said. “Soon, we will announce a new coalition of Republicans and Democrats opposing legalization. We intend to make this a major issue.”Sabet said the group is investing money in New Jersey and that “we do have a high-profile Democrat in our coalition that was on the short list to be Murphy's lieutenant governor,” though he declined to identify that person or provide the names of opponents in the legislature.Although significant opposition from Democrats is essential to stopping legalization, support among Republicans may also prove helpful to passing a bill.One former Republican state legislator, Scott Rudder, is president of the pro-legalization New Jersey Cannabusinesss Association trade group. Rob Cressen, the former executive director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, is on the group’s board.“I know plenty of other Republicans who are supportive of it,” said Rudder, whose group opposes home cultivation.On the libertarian extreme, Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll has introduced a bill that would allow marijuana sales at convenience stores, and said he will urge far-reaching reform.“Let’s get radical about this,” Carroll said, outlining a vision of legalization without product testing rules and without limits on home cultivation.“If your kid at the age of 17 is smoking marijuana, that’s a good cause to give them a spanking, that’s not a good cause to call the police,” Carroll said.Carroll hopes “other radicals out there” among Democrats will “threaten to withhold support for a bad bill,” but believes it’s likely a more cautious proposal will prevail. He said he’s likely to back any bill he views as a step in the right direction.“My guess is any Democrat who stands to thwart Murphy in his first 100 days will have a very short career,” Carroll added. “They are serious about that: If you shaft the organization, that’s a very bad career move on the other side of the aisle.”The Republican minority leader in the lower house, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, said “you have to call the Democrats” to ask if the bill will pass, and that he doesn’t know the level of support among his caucus. He said he supports decriminalizing pot and “seeing how that goes” before legalizing it.Murphy's support is unusual among leading state politicians. Generally, legalization happens over the objection of governors. In Maine, lame-duck Republican Gov. Paul LePage has indefinitely blocked regulated sales, citing uncertainty about whether the Trump Justice Department will attempt to enforce federal law banning pot dealing.Among those pushing for inclusion of a home-growing provision in New Jersey legislation is the Marijuana Policy Project, or MPP, a large national organization that supports legalization and has been influential in crafting state policies for recreational and medical marijuana.MPP legislative counsel Kate Bell said, “We’ll see where things go when this becomes real,” expressing hope Democratic leaders will allow limited at-home growing.Sweeney, the state Senate president, however, said he can't personally support a bill that allows home growing “unless someone could demonstrate to me why that’s necessary.” In fact, he described the omission as a potentially smart distinction for New Jersey.Source: Washington Examiner (DC)Author: Steven Nelson Published: November 9, 2017Copyright: 2017 Washington ExaminerContact: threads dcexaminer.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #14 posted by John Tyler on November 13, 2017 at 07:58:27 PT
Schedule I
Cannabis and all of the other psychedelic drugs got put on this list back in the Nixon presidency when the Schedule list was created. It was specifically put in there as a tool to oppress the youth movement. Nixon absolutely hated the hippies. He hated their looks, he hated philosophy, he hated them coming to Washington D.C. by the tens of thousands to protest against him and the war in Vietnam. We are still fighting against the heirs of his legacy. After all of these decades we are slowly overcoming this frightful social prejudice. Chris Christy still thinks cannabis is bad, but the people of N.J. have recently elected a new governor who favors legalization. Social change is not easy is it?
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 12, 2017 at 19:50:15 PT
Twelve year old suing Sessions.
How ironic... yet very fitting.Brings back to mind that hideous lie the prohibitionists always liked to fling around to add to their self-righteous opinion of themselves. "If we can save just one child."Right. A prohibitionist never saved even one child... but they brought death and disaster on many.In the article HempWorld posted, twelve year old Alexis Bortell's father said how irrational the prohibition of cannabis is. Yes, it is. It always has been. God help us... it always has been.Prohibitionists have caused so much harm, including to children. They are so caught up in their own self righteousness that they can't say they're sorry. They can't say they made a mistake. They can't say they were wrong. Because they are self righteous.Excerpt: Marijuana has long been classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule I narcotic, placing it in the same category as ecstacy, and LSD. Marijuana is listed as more dangerous than Schedule II narcotics such as cocaine, and methamphetamine.
"How is that rationale? It's not compassionate either, but rationality? It's just outrageous," the girl's father, Dean Bortell, said. "When you look at it from a distance and you see it saving their lives, me as a father and an American, I go, what are we doing? How could you possibly look at someone who`s benefiting from this as a medicine and threaten to take it away?"
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Comment #12 posted by HempWorld on November 12, 2017 at 08:37:45 PT
Sessions sued by 12 year old...
Legalize It!
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Comment #11 posted by Soupherb on November 12, 2017 at 02:09:22 PT:
I agree John Tyler
But it sure does make me mad as can be knowing we(I) have been played 7 ways to Sunday by my own freaking government.And, they know it. It is out of control, has no direction and can't do their jobs for a mountain of reasons but herb ain't one of them and it has gone on for far too long getting dumbied by a failing and corrupt government.
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on November 11, 2017 at 12:39:02 PT
Next step
The prohibitionists are writing the rules. It is not real legalization if you cannot grow your own without fear. This is not some toxic substance. It is just a plant that happens to be good for the body, mind, and spirit. Additionally, the higher the taxes the more the public will rely on lower priced alternatives. The next time you are at the grocery store check the price of dried parsley. It is usually 2 to 3 dollars, maybe 5 if you go organic. I think 10 to 20 dollars an oz. for legal cannabis is plenty to pay. It would pay some taxes and afford good wages to the workers in the industry. Fat cat monopoly corporations with exclusive contracts to provide cannabis in addition to outrageous taxes will breed needless corruption. I hope that can be corrected in future legislation. You have to get out there and really tell your representative what is needed. Most all of them, bless their hearts, are weak weenies and are open to persuasion and compromise. That’s Democracy for you.
And another thing in legal states and states going legal some of that windfall tax money has to go to repaying the Drug War victims. They will all need full pardons for cannabis convictions. Their records will have to be cleared. All of their court cost, fines, and any other associated legal fees will have to be repaid with interest. Even if someone got arrested and got off. Their legal fees would have to be returned with interest also. No statute of limitations either. Even if your case is 50 years old you can get your record cleared and your money back. If you have served time, from the day you were arrested until you are released you will get compensation (to be determined) and counseling if requested. We have to rip this evil out of our society root and branch for the society to heal. The whole design of cannabis prohibition was to be a tool to oppress minorities and quell political opposition. That was wrong and it has to be “fixed”.
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2017 at 09:42:31 PT
Canada 2
Here it is! Canada's DUI proposal would give it the most harsh, invasive cannabis DUI law in the world! Mandatory saliva testing. Nice of them to take your DNA. Plus huge penalties for a tiny amount of cannabis metabolites in the system, which have no correraltion to impairment: the proposal has a $1 per gram tax. So today, budget buds come to your house for $99, after "legalization" they will cost $127, a 28% tax rate, at least double the tax on beer.
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2017 at 09:32:23 PT
Canada is getting ready to "legalize", but today you can mail-order cannabis for $99 per ounce for delivery to your house. http://www.bcproduct.com"Legalization" up there is going to add new jail terms and penalties like a "per se" DUI law, which has been scientifically discredited and abandoned even by the state legislatures of Mass. and Maine.Maine's legislature immediatly got to work attacking and reducing the right to grow at home, installing a 12 plant total limit when voters ordered them to allow unlimited veg & seedling plants. But no, they'd prefer to send stormtroopers onto peoples' rural properties to attack and rob them.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on November 11, 2017 at 09:20:44 PT
not going to be good
I sense a disaster coming. No growing, just as I predicted. They're getting ready to sell the cannabis community into corporate bondage.I could see 10 or 12 companies exclusively licensed to grow and sell cannabis for the whole state.  This is the way state govts. work these days. When my state "legalized" gambling it was 3 huge casinos for 6 million people and a tax rate of 50% of gross revenue.They have zero interest in granting freedom to anyone. Any law that bans home growing only sets us for more abuse. Washington state has the highest tax and does not allow home growing - no coincidence.  Cops still get to raid and steal from anyone doing gardening on their own land.  Corporate servitude! Our best chance is Vermont, where a huge faction of the state legislature, I believe the House, has already committed to legalizing home growing. They actually passed a law that does nothing else other than legalize home growing and possession. That's a great place for legalization to start. 
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on November 11, 2017 at 08:32:19 PT
The Garden State
I will go with N.J. In a way we are all winners here. Legalization is finally coming to the East Coast. So many people live in the N.Y., N.J., PA. area. Everyone travels back and forth across these state lines regularly. N.Y. and PA. are pretty interested in legalization and this will push them along. This will give N.J. state being “The Garden State” new meaning. Keep up the good work. Keep creating good Karma. We are winning this thing for a better country.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on November 10, 2017 at 21:05:47 PT
Who do You think will win?It's not a race, I know; but it is; History books will show a position described as being 1st...Vermont would be a safe bet. Don't rule out Hawaii, they won medical through the legislature... Current news makes N.J. a safe bet. What about N.H.?Considering it a race may expedite the process... Then race it shall be!
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 10, 2017 at 15:42:32 PT
Competitive race, too close to call. Go N.J.
Lots of different races.The race to become the 1st state to RE-legalize the superplant THROUGH LEGISLATION is still being contested.New Jersey is as worthy as any other state to win that historical GREAT AMERICAN RACE. That's a very important record for the history books and could effect how America views the winner... I believe I understand N.J. is unhappy being considered 2nd rate to N.Y.... -Make the MOVE!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 10, 2017 at 08:18:24 PT

My Opinion
If use becomes legal since Cannabis must be grown then it must be allowed to be grown.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on November 10, 2017 at 07:27:42 PT

Home Cultivation? It's a plant, for God's sake!
Marijuana/Cannabis/Hemp was one of the 1st cultivated crops by homo sapiens, because it was the most useful of all plants. Marijuana/Cannabis/Hemp was legal since time immemorial, until about 80 years ago, pharmaceuticals came on the scene.It was mandatory for every farmer in the USA under President George Washington to cultivate Marijuana/Cannabis/Hemp and it could be used to pay taxes, etc.Now, fast forward to today's insanity: A plant put on earth by the almighty creator that is so useful and beneficial it has become illegal!Cultivating Marijuana/Cannabis/Hemp is one of our inalienable birthrights! Not something the government or any other form of intrusion in our God given lives can simply take away! If you can't grow a plant because it has been deemed 'evil' then what is the real evil?
Home Cultivation!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 10, 2017 at 05:22:32 PT

I Hope This is True
Let's get it done now!
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