Since 2017, Governor Phil Murphy has hoped to legalize marijuana. Although this has been his priority, getting traction has been more difficult than he originally thought. Regardless, Murphy continued to press on due to unsafe underground marijuana products.
With the elections coming up in 2020, now is the perfect time to give the people of New Jersey a say in the matter. If the legalization of marijuana passes, the law will come into effect in January 2021 and New Jersey will become the 12th state to legalize marijuana.
What does the state hope to improve?
- The Black Market: Many people now find marijuana in dangerous ways. With legalization, the state hopes to prevent people who are putting themselves in danger. When consumers find marijuana through the black market or on the streets through an unknown seller, they won’t know upfront if the seller laced marijuana with something that could be life threatening. Moving towards legalization could be a step in saving some consumers from this situation.
- Taxes: Legislators want legal weed taxes to increase to 12 percent or higher. However, the ballot states that the tax would be the same as New Jersey’s state tax, which is 6.625 percent. This would be the lowest tax for legal marijuana in the United States. The reason for this is to help consumers pick safer ways to get the marijuana they want. If the state were to raise this tax, it might tempt consumers to find their marijuana through unsafe avenues.
- Possession arrests: “[In early November 2019], an ACLU analysis of marijuana arrest data reported that one person is arrested every 14 minutes.” New Jersey has always been a tough enforcer of the law, the toughest in the United States. In recent years, there have been many people sent to jail for possession. The majority of those people are people of color. If this law passes, many hope for justice for the racial inequality that has followed these marijuana possessions.
The legalization of marijuana is a significant risk for some people. The legislation has been dragging their feet because of the uncertainty that it brings. However, many believe that it’s time to shake the old myths that people have spread about marijuana.
Don’t face possession charges alone
If you or anyone you know has been charged with possession of marijuana, contact The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo by calling 908-643-6801 or sending us an email for a free initial consultation. Know your options going into this election season.