Marijuana Legalization Stuck in the Senate

Insider NJ's Jay Lassiter discusses the specifics of what is going to be in the medical marijuana bill, which was recently separated from a bill that would allow legalization of recreational marijuana in NJ.

Two words.

Not happening.

The best they can get is 19, a source told InsiderNJ this morning as legislators prepare to head to Trenton to consider marijuana legalization.

And that’s generous.

Other sources said they were short six.

They need 21.

They’re not there in the state senate.

They supposedly had enough in the assembly.

But not the senate.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) was rustling for votes over the weekend, but he has hard-nosed opposition among party members in his own region.

Increasingly, lawmakers expressed interest in a ballot question, not for this year but next.

Monday morning, the forces of recreational marijuana legalization braced for immediate defeat.

Stay updated with up-to-the-minute developments with Insider NJ’s Weed War Room.  Senate President Sweeney issued a statement this afternoon announcing the vote won’t advance today. 

(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)

143 responses to “Marijuana Legalization Stuck in the Senate”

      • Politicians are on the right and on the left. Problem is that they’re old and they get paid ridiculous amounts of money. They have old ideas and they’re not up with the standards of today. If we had more 20, 30 and 40 year old Republicans and Democrats I know they would get shit done and give the people what they want.

        I know there are a lot of Republicans who are in favor of marijuana legalization. Again, it’s the politicians not the people.

        • State senator gets paid 49k in NJ, so they have to have people donate to their campaign, etc. to actually live here (or have another job). So I say they don’t get paid *enough* – if they didn’t have to rely on outside donations and interests, maybe they’d actually do what the people of this state overwhelmingly want.

        • My logic is, why make ANOTHER drug legal that can inhibit driving?

          You’re argument is “Alcohol is legal, so why not make another drug legal, too!” Seriously?

          • Right, but we know that won’t happen. So why swing the complete opposite way and make yet another thing that inhibits driving easier to get?

          • Your concern is valid, but unfortunately the alternative consequences of keeping this thing illegal aren’t much prettier. People need to be smart. We should be encouraging responsible consumption, similar to alcohol.

          • I am totally for medical marijuana, used responsibly. But studies have shown (for the most part) that fatalities from inebriated driving go up in states where marijuana is legal. Now, I believe that also includes people who are drunk driving and high driving, so I do think alcohol contributes to this greatly. Police need time to figure out how best to enforce something like marijuana legalization and driving.

          • Youre a retard. So I guess bc you are so worried about driving under the influence of marijuana it should stay illegal? All that will do is keep giving innocent people criminal records that all they do is smoke before bed, prevent people from getting a good job, give the black market more money to spend on harder drugs n funding towards other criminal expenditures, etc. and i can type all day. Alcohol is much more dangerous and more intoxicating than marijuana. Most people drive safer while stoned, virtually everyone who is drunk cant. So yes, i think if youre gonna keep alcohol legal and a much much safer plant illegal then you should make cannabis legal too or make alcohol illegal as well. Keeping marijuana illegal when alcohol is legal is the most absurd and stupid reasoning ive ever heard. It does more harm than good. Its science fact you dumb ass. There will always be people that will abuse it, but most people dont. I believe cannbis should be legal based on certain concentrations of thc if anything. Much like how some cities can only serve beer and not liquor. Maybe on smokable cannabis of thc 10% or less and keep edibles and dabs illegal.

          • Idc. I love telling people what I truly think of them when its deserved. You are a bigot.

          • Right, and that makes it very hard to determine if a person is driving under the influence of marijuana. Lawmakers in Trenton don’t seem to care, though, and are ignoring the pleas of the police forces. There needs to be structure and research in place.

          • Agreed, there needs to be a structure for research to take place…which will lead to better and more accurate testing methods that police can use in the field. With the current laws the way they are though this R&D is very hard to tackle because the feds don’t allow public companies to do research in a Class 1 drug, like LSD (which should not be legal). This is why you are only now starting to see this research, because for the first time some companies feel a bit of safety under their state laws in regards to marijuana research…It used to be the Feds would simply shut them down.

          • Well remember how long THC stays in your system. Again I haven’t smoked in days, yet if I got in a fatal accident next week I’d still have it in my system and become a “driving while high” statistic, even though I wouldn’t be high at all. So those statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt.

          • You’re cherry picking data in studies. The uptick equals out when you acknowledge the population increase because people are flocking to the recreational states. Also, they just prove they’ve smoked weed recently, not that they were driving high. Your idiology could also ban caffeine as it can lead to road rage. Or cough syrup.

            Sorry dude, maybe you should move to a country that isn’t focused on freedom. But, in my opinion, no government should have a right to ban ANY plant. Nature is right that all living beings are entitled to.

            Don’t ban stuff because bad stuff happens, harshen the penalties so that the risk isn’t worth it.

          • Thats not for you to decide what i do withmyself. I can also go buy a gun and shoot someone but that would be on me not the gun makers

          • So it’s not a concern of mine that you could legally get high and then get on the road?

          • Nope. Are you not busy enough with your own life that you have to worry about every person and what theyre doing? Get over it. People smoke weed just like some people enjoy shooting guns and drinking liquor. Its not for you to decide what other people do. And btw your statistics are bs and meaningless as no one has ever kill someone dui from weed. Your fear mongering needs to end.

          • Getting high and driving is not a legal activity, now is it? Legally high, yes. Legally operating a motor vehicle whilst under the influence, NO. Stop conflating things.

            I live in Colorado. It’s not like we didn’t have weed before it was legal. The only thing that has changed is that the majority of the population is no longer in violation of the law.

            In addition; when measuring liklihoods of danger, I’d pick a stoned driver over a drunk one anyday of the week.

          • Right, but driving while drunk is not legal and people still do it. So why would driving while high be any different?

          • You can let it concern you all you want for all I care. It’s your right to live in fear if you wish. But it’s not your right to tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body in my own home. No one here is saying people should be allowed to get high and drive. DUI is a law because it puts other’s lives at risk, that doesn’t mean we get rid of anything that could impair driving.

          • But does it mean we also approve anything that can impair driving? Seems like a bad idea.

          • Nooe, we should look at each substance objectively, and compare which drugs are destructive to others by proxy, such as heroin causing people to quickly loose jobs and becoming thieves to support their habit. Same with cocaine, hell I’d say even alcohol is far more dangerous than weed…you can actually die from the withdrawal. Pot on the other hand has none of these side effects. I’ve been smoking for 20 years, haven’t in a few days though because it’s a tight paycheck…see if an alcoholic or crack user can do that, they can’t because the addiction is very powerful. Addicts hurt those around them, pot users feed the people around them.

          • I’m not saying marijuana is addicting. It does, however, impede someone’s ability to drive a car.

          • So do cellphones, but we put that responsibility on the user to know not to be on the phone while driving. Stupid people still do though, but that doesn’t mean we all need to give up our phones because of someone else. This is why the best form of driving is defensive driving because even sober, alert drivers can be terrible drivers.

          • And shockingly fatalities have gone up due to cell phone usage in cars. So again, why would we knowingly legalize something (weed) that can add to that impairment?

          • Here I’ll spin your point like you spun mine…and shockingly vehicle fatalities have gone up since cars were created…So why would we not make cars illegal??

          • In the case of weed, though, we know from other states that it leads to an uptick. Ask Gov. Murphy about it and he will play dumb! It’s barrel to a vote with our heads buried in the ground. Ask a tough question and proponent attack you.

          • its not a tough question. We all saw how prohibition tore this country apart and led to the rise of the mafia, this is well know. Anyone who’s anyone knows we can never go down that road again. But here we are doing the same thing with a natural plant, giving rise to the cartels…only reason nothing has been done about it is that the cartel didn’t set up shop in our country. So we just ignore the violence it has caused in South America and Mexico and give a bunch of money to rural PDs to fly around repelling from Helos shutting down small grow ops in the mainland…Pretty cool job when you watch them do it…wonder why many still support keeping it illegal, who would want to give up that job.

          • I wouldn’t want to give up that job, sounds pretty cool.
            The only answer I’ve gotten when I ask, “what about the increased number of inebriated drivers?” Is “Trust them not to! Oh and the taxes!”

          • In case you aren’t getting it my point is just because something can be abused by someone, doesn’t mean we seriously consider making it illegal. The mistakes of a few do not forfeit everyone else’s rights. Go look into how and why pot was made illegal. Go learn how the paper companies lobbied hard to make it a class 1 substance. Go read how those same lobbyist put out racist propaganda that black men were trying to “steal” white women by introducing them to pot…go watch reefer madness. You may find that yourey on the wrong side of this subject.

          • I don’t think I’m on the wrong side of this if it keep stoned drivers off the road. Marijuana uses in medicine are proven and I’m behind that for sure.

          • You do know that people already drive stoned before it was legal right?? If anything keeping it illegal keeps the proper testing and innovation required to detect weed. The PD needs tools to detect THC on the road, they will never get it if it’s not opened up to the public. It’s the very reason no one actually knows the true data points about canabanoids, it’s still in frontier research.

          • do you really think that those who smoke and dont drive right now are going to be like “oh man its legal now, guess ill start driving under the influence”. Or on the flip side, will the ones who do say “oh its kept illegal i guess ill stop driving under the influence”?
            At the end of the day, those willing to break the law…dont care if there is a law being broken or not, they will do what they will. The only ones who will drive while high when its legal are the ones doing it already. Changing the law will however get ALOT of non violent people out of our prison system, remove the war on drugs HUGE budget of tax dollars, and not to mention the extra tax revenue that is currently being absorbed by cartels oppressing those south of our border…but hey, if you’re ok with that simply so you can get in your car and feel “safe”, then by all means you do you.

          • Actually, it’s more about the influx of new smokers who will then get behind the wheel. Studies do show that people who smoke occasionally or never before are hit harder by the effects. So what happens when someone who is new to smoking marijuana then takes to the roads?

            And come on now, you think Murphy will do anything positive with those tax dollars? He doesn’t even have a plan yet but wants it passed so he can check it off his list of campaign promises.

          • Actually, the first few times you smoke it is common to not feel much of anything. This was my experience with friends in high school, mind you it was still illegal then. As for those who smoke occasionally, they can be hit harder, happened to a friend of mine after he didn’t smoke for a couple years. Guess what happened though, he gave it up and doesn’t smoke. But all this back and forth is pointless really, I don’t even know why we are speculating on what happens if this and what happens if that…We don’t live in a nanny state, at least we weren’t supposed to be. So IMO pot should not be illegal. I’m ok with the feds keeping it illegal though as long as they leave the states to have their own sovereignty as it was meant to be.

          • Lol I wouldn’t say the medical side is “proven”. At best there is positive signs that certain canabanoids can help with certain ailments…but there is still much speculation at what the data means and how the compound actually works. All this testing only started since legalization because of the way it’s classified, and even still many companies here in the US refuse to work with it out of fear of federal repercussions.

          • Well let’s just give up all our personal freedoms because of a few bad apples who can’t handle the responsibility. Also, hows the war on pot been going the past century? I say regulate the industry and take the power away from the black market because at the end of the day, people should be free to enjoy a mild release from the pressures of their day…some people have a glass of wine after work, some people have a couple beers, and smoking a bowl should be allowed also.

          • But where do you draw the line with medical?? Thats the big problem here. You agree that though with a terminal disease should be allowed to smoke…but what about depression? it helps, anxiety?? yep it can help. How about stress? Do people have a right to do what they want to cope at the end of a stressful day?…how about mourning the death of a loved one?? Do they have the right to mourn with others how they see fit?? When you start saying Marijuana has medical applications…you place it in an extreme gray area where people can basically use it recreationally. This is how it went down in California in the early 2000s. I have a history of severe migraines ever since i was a kid, i qualified for medical. But guess what, it wasn’t cheap to keep that medical card. So the fix was just make it legal.

          • I think a decision like that is left to a board of qualified medical professionals. I’ve seen some heartbreaking stories about children who need the oil to help with seizures, but are given a hard time trying to get it. There should be a standardized approval process. But a blanket legalization does not seem to be the way to do it, at least not yet. And I’m sorry to hear about your medical issue, glad it helps.

          • Hey…I can get some ketamine legally now. Crap the VA is testing ecstasy (MDMA)…Why don’t I give that a try on the NJ turnpike? I wouldn’t.

          • But it would also allow people easy access to buy a drug that inhibit driving. Seems like a big problem to me.

          • ease of access is your concern?!?! wow…I can pick up my phone right now and get my dude to deliver me a bag in 10 mins…Obviously you have never been in this scene, otherwise you would have a much different opinion on the subject. There are TONS are users that you would never expect to be, same with dealers. Mine is a 70 year old dude who slings a bit to help offset his fixed income. Nicest guy you’d ever meet.

          • The only reason this natural plant is labeled a drug in the first place is because the powers that be exert their control over everything. People get high right now and drive. People been driving drunk for years. People been “legally” killing other people with guns forever, but the question is why make another thing legal? That’s the wrong question to be asking.

          • Cocaine is a natural plant, too…

            And “people have been driving drunk for years” is not an argument. That’s a really bad thing and adding another substance to the mix is a bad thing, too.

          • You’re comparing cocaine to marijuana but you wanna talk about bad arguments? Marijuana doesn’t harm anyone. Never has never will. It’s clear you don’t care for legalization, but it’s not going anywhere, and the results in working with it instead if against it has been the right move elsewhere.

          • Goodness, that’s quite the blanket statement. It’s never harmed anyone, you guys!

          • Why not outlaw automobiles? That would take care of both drunk driving and high driving at once.

          • Until there’s a Tesla involved death and then its found out that the guy in the drivers seat was high…watch all the deep state lobbyists come out of the woodwork blaming the driver in any way they can.

          • Also cocaine is chemically synthesized from the coca leaves… You don’t find cocaine powder just chilling out in the wild

          • Actually Cocaine is not a plant, its a compound derived from a few types of Coca plant. Cocaine is made by putting it through a man made artificial process to turn it into the drug. Marijuana on the other hand is pure and simple…grow it, smoke it…

          • Your argument is idiotic at worst and callus at best. Marijuana driving deaths? Somebody has been reaxhing today i see.

          • The NHTSA says it’s really not an issue compared to alcohol in multiple studies in different decades. They found that while there is slight impairment regarding reaction time marijuana users compensate by slowing down and driving more safely. Drivers also shifted left and right more but stayed within the lane limits.

            I can’t find the link to the previous study at the moment, but I believe it’s referenced in the newer study.


          • I did see that and it’s encouraging. But then there’s the study from Colorado’s Denver Post that shows driving fatalities spiked after marijuana legalization.

          • John,

            Vehicular fatalities where cannabis is present in a victim/drivers bloodstream doesn’t indicate and increase in risk. Overall vehicular deaths are down across the US, and cases where cannabinoids are detected are up. That’s a no brainier considering THC stays in a person’s system (detectable by urine or blood) for 72 hours – 45 days depending on consumption.

            Find me a solid study where it proves THC inhibits the senses like alcohol, and I’ll believe you. Nothing I’ve found (Aside from a police station somewhere that used a “Marijuana visualizer” headset that turned your vision green and blurry which doesn’t happen. Can attest. I’ve been to Colorado and smoked plenty) points to cannabis being any real threat or contributor to vehicular accidents.

          • It’s not a question of “if”, but “when” it impairs judgement. I agree that it’s tough to quantify exactly how high a person is, and that’s why something like blanket legalization is an issue. There have been multiple studies showing being high, especially for people not smoking every day, can definitely impair driving ability.
            From an NBC New article, one scientist shows concern: “‘You can’t legalize a substance and not have a coherent policy for controlling driving under the influence of that substance,’ said Steven Davenport, an assistant policy researcher at the nonprofit Rand Corp., who specializes in marijuana research.”

          • And we will continue to not have the testing done with this substance if it continues to be federally illegal. Do you have any idea the amount of red tape a lab had to go through to be able to do testing on cannabis in the 90s because of it’s class 1 scheduling? Enough so that it wasn’t worth testing.

          • Easy answer to your question legalize it because we will have self driving cars take over in the future

          • Haha then it will be ok! Give it 5 years, hopefully (unless we believe Tesla then it’s like next month).

          • So you only argument against weed is that sometimes we have to use a vehicle? That’s like saying cell phones should be illegal because you will have to drive at some point…see how ridiculous that sounds?? It’s called putting the phone down when getting in a car…just like I would never get drunk knowing I had to drive, and if I was drunk and suddenly had to be somewhere I’d pick up the phone and arrange a ride…or wait a few hours. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, it’s one of the core beliefs that made this country great.

          • But don’t you think it’s important for even police to have a reliable and consistent way to detect high drivers? The most astonishing thing about this legalization push is the breathless rush to simply do it!
            And one could argue personal responsibility has not helped when it comes to alcohol and guns. But those are legal and that’s that. Why make ANOTHER substance legal? Especially when studies show it can impair driving but we don’t yet understand the extent to which is does.

            Edit: I do see your side of the argument and your point is definitely valid.

          • Police already do. And if your stoned or even mildly high while driving its a dui. Thats how it is where i lived in Washington state.

        • Got it on your second try there?

          That’s obviously a fucking fact, because alcohol is a widely available, legal substance lol

  1. Nice to see NJ politicians agreeing with the hundred year old views of an overtly racist man instead of acting by the will of the people; so much for being “representatives”.

    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” – Harry J. Anslinger, first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

  2. It seems to me, from here in Oregon, legalization is inevitable, either state by state, or federally.
    Good luck, NJ!

    • There is an entire movement of military veterans in support of legalization of marijuana. The VA doesn’t have the greatest health coverage and when you get drugs it’s a bunch of shit tied to addiction, addiction of pills.

  3. Keep the zombies on TV not near our children !!! If it is legal the state will be declared as the walking dead garden !!! Please don’t thank you

    • Are you implying that if you smoke a little weed at night you become a zombie?? You know Steve jobs smoked right? I have an uncle who makes props for movies who smokes a bit when hitting a wall on a project. Sorry that not all of us are willing to give up personal freedoms for the promise of security. The war on drugs promised it would eradicate these drugs from our country, all it’s done is overpopulate our prisons, hemorrhage our tax dollars that could have been used for much more productive endeavors, and empower the cartels which is destroying South America and Mexico. All of this because…what??

  4. That is some fucking bullshit. These old farts work for us. They are fucking the people over. Give the people what they want. Some of these old farts make around 40,000$ a week. Obviously they don’t deserve to get paid that stroking their old cocks that don’t work anymore. They don’t have the brain power to get shit done. They work for us, but in reality they work for and are bought out by corporate interests.

    Our politicians are Terrorists and they should be treated as such. Do you know how many people are suffering without CBD and THC? I don’t have an exact number but I’m sure it’s quite a lot.

    These old politicians trip my trigger and I’m sick and tired of these fucking useless cunts in office. If you can’t give the people what they want especially when that people is around 60% the population of the United States. People on the Right and on the Left support cannabis legalization, but when it comes to politicians they don’t have the same interests as the people so why are they in office?

    I certainly hope the younger generations get into office. I want some young Republicans and some young Democrats to get shit done. I am sick and tired of these old fuckshit up politicians destroying this great nation.

      • I hate the “gateway drug” term. It’s soooo disingenuous. The only reason it’s a gateway drug is because A) it’s not an intense high so it’s more approachable…but more importantly B) the drug dealer wants to make money off you so they try to introduce you to other things…You know who wouldn’t do that? The cashier at the store if it was legal.

        • Adam I hit a nerve huh? Who in your family has a drug problem? More than one?you couldnt find your ass with 2 dont know anything.ill say it again if you dont like the laws of state or country get the fuck out.

          • Hit a nerve? I’m in no way being combative, obviously you’re the one who has the struck nerve seeing how aggressively you comment. Perhaps you should try smoking a bit before you end up having an aneurysm. BTW cannabis has been legal for most of this countries history, many founding fathers grew it. You seem to want your personal freedoms to be taken by our government which is the opposite of why this country was created. So how about you get the hell out and go to Saudi Arabia where no substance is legal, you can even treat your wife like shit which seems to be right up your alley.

          • No law against it doesnt make it legal.smoking pot is a sign of weakness.its been outlawed since 1906.

          • Suck a cock you weak faggot.go smoke your shit and find relief from your miserable life.i dont need that shit to be happy.

      • You could always move if you dont like the laws.i hated Obama but I tolerated because if you want to live in the us that’s the way it is.

        • Funny I didnt like Obama either, didnt realize marijuana was a strictly Democrat issue, how incredibly dense

          • Mike Cassata you’ll leave NJ when all the Hollywood trash that threatened to leave the US if Trump won does.Now go back downstairs to your parents basement ,get out your one hitter and pout.

          • Hahaha okay. Cry all you want old man, pot is gunna be legal in the garden state at some point

          • I’m not crying you whiny little sissy bitch.i hope you catch a charge and it follows you the rest of your pathetic’ll look great when looking for employment.

      • Type and drive with spell check on but bottom line is we have enough drug addicts in the US.probably someone in your family.

  5. The real shames here are 1) expunging criminals with non violent mj charges won’t get done, and: 2) for all the arguments about it being stronger now than 30 years ago, a gateway drug, easily obtained by minors etc well everyone I know that smoke mj can get their hands on it already.

    Let the state fix number 1 and for number 2 get real opponents.

    • All my friends I’ve know from high school who smoked are still healthy and loving life, the two who have died was because of alcohol, and the other by OD on pain killers. Neither of them smoked weed. So I agree with you, the issue isn’t pot being legalized…it’s pot not being legal.

      • I know of 7 pot smokers who turned to opiates and they are broke his neck diving in a pool motorcycle accident killed on the job loaded.4 od’s dont try to educate me.i know what I’m talking about.

        • And who pushed them to opiates? You? Themselves? Or the drug dealer? When I buy cigs at the store (legal/regulated) the cashier doesn’t try upselling me to snuff. None of my friends ever got bored with weed and said “I’m gonna go do something harder”, it was always either peer pressure or dealer pressure. don’t try to educate me, I know what I’m talking about.

        • BTW…did those 7 people try alcohol before pot?? Chances are they did, yet no one ever calls alcohol a “gateway drug”, wonder why not??…

  6. All these over the counter pills and prescription drugs destroying NJ and mf is worried about marijuana.. Let’s get to the real here people.

  7. A big thing for lawmakers to consider here is that it is already too easy to obtain marijuana and it is only getting easier as time goes on. People who want weed for medical or recreational purposes can and WILL obtain/consume it whether the law says it is OK or not. The responsible adults will continue to be responsible with it and the losers will continue to be losers, regardless. Everyone fighting against marijuana still has not realized that their battle was lost decades ago. Too many people are on the Green Team and the number grows every day as public opinion shifts. Might as well accept this now, focus your energy instead on taking money from the hands of illegal dealers and driving as many of them out of business as possible. Let the state collect that money from taxation and do some GOOD with it.

    • Not today. You can thank these state senators:

  8. All i can say is that soon weed will be legal. Once it is legal a lot of bad dudes will be out of business, who are selling it right now .Drug crime will go down. Plus state will collect more taxest axes, are some positives also.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape