The ongoing effort by New Jersey Senate Democrats to legalize recreational marijuana took another step forward last week with the introduction of a bill by Senate Judiciary Chairman Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, that would legalize the possession and personal use of up to an ounce of marijuana in New Jersey for anyone 21 and older. Gov. Christie has promised to veto any bill that would legalize recreational pot, but all four major Democratic gubernatorial candidates favor legalization. The two major Republican candidates oppose it. Polls in New Jersey and nationally show growing support for legalization. Eight states already have legalized it in some form.The arguments for and against legalization are debated below by advocate Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and by opponent Kevin A. Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Wouldn’t legalization of marijuana be sending the wrong message about drugs, particularly to young people, at a time when there is a major effort under way to address what has been termed an opioid crisis? Sabet: Absolutely. A growing body of research demonstrates that marijuana legalization leads to decreased perceived risk and increased youth use. Colorado… Read full this story
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