Legalized Cannabis in the Lame Duck? Niet.

Cannabis

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is going to be a referendum, InsiderNJ learned this afternoon:

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Nicholas Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following joint statement today announcing the introduction of legislation to seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey:

“We are moving forward with a plan to seek voter approval to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey. We introduced legislation today to authorize a public referendum for a proposal that will lead to the creation of a system that allows adults to purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes in a responsible way.

“This initiative will bring cannabis out of the underground so that it can be controlled to ensure a safe product, strictly regulated to limit use to adults and have sales subjected to the sales tax.  

“We will have the Legislature vote on the plan during the current legislative session and expect the proposal to be on the ballot in 2020, when voter turnout will be maximized for the national election. We are confident it will be approved by the Senate, the Assembly and the voters.”

 

Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before!

(Trenton) — Today at noon, a phalanx 0f cannabis advocates led by the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association joined Senator Nick Scutari and Assemblyman Jamel Holley to announce a new cannabis legalization initiative they’ve dubbed “#94NoMore.”

That figure represents the 94 cannabis arrests that happen in New Jersey every day according to Scott Rudder, president of the NJ CannaBusiness Association. Perhaps uncommonly for a trade association, Mr Rudder has consistently cited the racial disparities of cannabis arrests in NJ.

“Last year we were arresting 88 people per day. Now it’s 94. It’s getting worse,” Mr Rudder told InsiderNJ. “So let’s talk about what cannabis prohibition means in terms of lives impacted and dollars spent!”

Today's cannabis press conference.
Today’s cannabis press conference.

According to Mr Rudder, NJ spends over $145,000,00 to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate cannabis users each and every year.

In a show of solidarity, the NJ ACLU-NJ , the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-NJ, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 152 and Doctors for Cannabis Regulation joined today’s event. Mr Rudder noted today’s event was a unique mix of social justice folks, unions and business groups, and doctors and patients stood united today in Trenton’s halls of power.

So would recreational cannabis legalization present challenges for medical cannabis users in NJ who can easily drop over $500 for an ounce of their medicine, a price-point that’s double what patients pay in other legal states?

TBD

But the social justice aspect of today’s push was undeniable.

Bersan Shaw is an applicant to dispense medical cannabis in Trenton.

“There are not that many people like me, that look like me, in this industry,” Ms Shaw told InsiderNJ. “Black and brown people, we really have to fight so this (racial disparities) will stop.”

Sow’s the whip count looking for lame duck legalization?  Senator Declan O’Scanlon, a pivotal vote on legalization said he’s a no vote for any lame duck bill.

He wants the voters to decide and for the legislature to decriminalize cannabis in the meantime.

“We have the votes in the Assembly, we’re just a few votes short in the Senate,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “We’re committed to try to get those votes before lame duck ends, but it’s the job of the Senate president to work his members”.

Assemblyman Holley’s next step? Spreading the #94NoMore message at this week’s League of Municipalities in Atlantic City.

“Wherever we can be helpful, the advocates, myself and others, to try to educate,” Holley added. “And that’s what this is doing here, this #94NoMore campaign, is educating individuals again on the urgency and the necessary reason why we should pass this.”

 

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  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Every poll in the nation shows A Solid Majority of Americans favor The Legalization of Marijuana Nationwide!

    Gallup Poll
    https://news.gallup.com/poll/221018/record-high-support-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

    Rasmussen Poll
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2016/more_voters_support_legalizing_recreational_pot

    CNN Poll
    https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/25/politics/marijuana-legalization-republicans-poll/index.html

    • Brian Kelly

      The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

      Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our yearly tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

      The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

      Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

      Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

      The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

      Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

      Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

      • Brian Kelly

        “Marijuana arrests are rising in the U.S…”

        There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds, according to a new FBI report released on Monday.

        The increase in marijuana arrests—659,700 in 2017, compared to 653,249 in 2016—is driven by enforcement against people merely possessing the drug as opposed to selling or growing it, the data shows.

        Last year, there were 599,282 marijuana possession arrests in the country, up from 587,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, busts for cannabis sales and manufacturing dropped, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.”

        – Forbes Magazine

        • Brian Kelly

          Marijuana Consumers Are Not Criminals!

          End the systematically failed both state and federal policies of criminalizing consumers of a natural, relatively benign plant proven to be far safer than perfectly legal, widely accepted alcohol and tobacco.

          End The Federal Prohibition of Marijuana Now!

          Legalize Nationwide! State by state if need be!

          It’s time our country wakes up and learns from our history.

          Prohibition does not prevent people from consuming marijuana. The demand will be there always and therefore marijuana will always be served up to the public regardless of marijuana prohibition laws. The alcohol prohibition era criminal organizations and gangsters such as Al Capone of yesteryear are the Pablo Escobar, El Chapo and drug cartels of today.

          The Temperance Movement didn’t catch on and last in part because it was a dead horse from the start.

          Prohibition only serves to further fuel the vast wealth and corruption, violence and death attributed to the criminal organizations which flourish under it by providing marijuana to meet the continual demand at inflated prices. Just like with alcohol, marijuana prohibition doesn’t work, makes no sense, and costs the tax payers a fortune yearly.

          Legalization creates jobs, improves the economy and let’s us as a nation focus the wasted resources currently used to criminalize citizens over marijuana towards things much more needed and useful.

          This is how freedoms get taken away from The People. First, a small minority doesn’t morally approve of marijuana. Tomorrow, it’s R-Rated movies, certain books and literature and eventually that minority aspires to make every citizen conform to their personal sense of morality through laws which criminalize everything that they personally don’t approve of.

          Tell us something prohibitionists:

          Why do you feel justified in endlessly wasting billions upon billions of our yearly tax dollars continuing to arrest, criminalize, incarcerate, and hand out life long permanent criminal records to otherwise hard-working, tax-paying, adult citizens for choosing to consume marijuana although it is far safer than perfectly legal, widely accepted alcohol?

          Shouldn’t their first and foremost priority be protesting the legality of alcohol if they really aren’t just biased and truly so cornered about other people on what those whom oppose marijuana legalization deem to be a “dangerous drug”?

          Why do the anti-marijuana folk apply such a blatantly obvious unfair double standard to far less dangerous marijuana that they obviously don’t apply equally to far more deadly, dangerous and harmful yet perfectly legal, widely accepted alcohol?

          Legalize Nationwide!

          • Brian Kelly

            In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

            In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

            Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

            People who consume marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

            Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make them out to be. They are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

            Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

            Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

            To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

            There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

            So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

            We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

            Has a marijuana consumer ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force anybody not to either.

            Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon everybody else with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

            Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly

            What we certainly don’t need are anymore people who feel justified in appointing themselves to be self-deputized morality police.

            We are very capable of choosing for ourselves if we want to consume Marijuana, a far less dangerous choice over alcohol, and we definitely don’t need anyone dictating how we live our own lives.

            We can’t just lock up everyone who does things prohibitionists don’t personally approve of.

            “Marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

            Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

            Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”
            -washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

            “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”

            -complex.com/pop-culture/2015/02/scientific-reports-weed-114-safer-alcohol

          • Brian Kelly

            There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

            The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

            Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

            Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

            With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

            Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

            Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

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