The Assembly Appropriations Committee this afternoon voted in favor of passing the Marijuana
Legalization Bill out of committee.
The vote was 7-1-2.
Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8) abstained. “Not sure this is the best thing to give to our children.”
So did Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R-40).
Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-24) voted no. “Why are we trying to get 24-25% in new taxes. Folks, it’s revenue. If it wasn’t about revenue, we wouldn’t tax it. The Governor sure as hell thinks it’s about revenue. (watch Wirths’ full remarks below).”
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) voted yes.
So did Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17), Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36), Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3), Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20), and Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20).
Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36) voted yes. “We need the bill on the radar screen. We need a defined date. We need to work on this bill. We need a time frame. I believe this bill could use additional review.”
Citing popular support for legalization, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3), pictured, above, voted yes. “We take a big step here. We have a chance to make
New Jersey better here. This is not a money grab for New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) admitted to being hesitant about his vote today. But “I’m voting yes to release the bill.”
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) voted yes. “New Jerseyans have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” she said.
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29) voted yes to release the bill. “Legitimizing marijuana is difficult to vote on,” she said. “However, we can see many things that marijuana is good for. I hope the future brings forth a new industry.”
Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) voted yes.
Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20) – intimately involved in the creation of the legislation – voted yes. “This was easy for me, because when you go home and you drive past the blocks and you see people selling those same exact drugs to make ends meet, it pains me. When you see a pathway of change for people who look like me, it’s easy. You haven’t experienced what it’s like to be a young African American male.
“Marijuana has tore up my family, but I got lucky,” added the assemblyman. “Provide relief for those individuals who look like me, who darn it, didn’t have a chance because of a drug that was called illegal.”