It took more than eight years -- starting with a local proposal to legalize marijuana possession in Denver – for Colorado to become the first state to legalize the substance. While it remains to be seen whether it will take that long for a similar proposal by Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union) to take root in New Jersey, residents shouldn’t expect any real movement on the issue as long as Gov. Chris Christie is in office.
Specifics of Scutari’s proposal aren’t yet available, but he has outlined a plan that goes far beyond tinkering with the state’s medical marijuana law, or even a bill that would decriminalize marijuana. Instead, Scutari wants to see the substance legalized statewide, much like the recent legalization in Colorado and a more modest change in Washington state.
Christie is a staunch opponent of easing restrictions on marijuana, making a change unlikely for the rest of his term. But there are signs that public opinion in the state has swung in favor of the concept, which may embolden New Jersey legislators who want to come out in support of Scutari’s plan.
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