Senator Singer: Murphy’s Marijuana Legalization Rhetoric Goes Up in Smoke When You Follow the Money

Senator Robert Singer said it’s clear when you follow the money that Governor Phil Murphy’s interest in marijuana legalization has little to do with improving social justice.

“If improving social justice was truly the Governor’s goal, he could have supported the legislation that I sponsor with Senator Rice to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana,” said Singer (R-Monmouth). “That would prevent both arrests and incarceration, solving the social justice problem for most people. We could have done that a year ago. The fact that Governor Murphy never truly considered decriminalization tells you that money, not social justice, is the driving force behind the movement to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey.”

The Rice/Singer legislation, S-1926, would decriminalize the possession of ten grams or less of marijuana and personal-use amounts of regulated marijuana-infused products.

In contrast, the “New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act,” which advanced from Senate and Assembly committees yesterday, creates a large bureaucratic framework to regulate the sale and taxation of marijuana for recreational use.

Similarly, legislation which advanced yesterday to update the state’s medical marijuana program includes a prolonged five-year phase out of the state sales tax on medical marijuana.

“Legislative committees passed a bill to levy a 14 percent tax on recreational marijuana, which the Governor is fighting to be 25 percent, but we’re still supposed to believe it’s not about the money,” added Singer. “And why is marijuana the only prescription that’s subject to the sales tax? If it’s not about the money, we should eliminate the tax on medical marijuana today, not five years from now. It certainly appears that money is the primary concern driving marijuana legislation in New Jersey.”

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  1. it is not clear. Senator Singer is against the legalization of recreational marijuana(and simply wants to decriminalize when busted with very minimal amounts), or he wants to totally legalize it? oy vey

  2. @no_hasish I assume it means that it will not be criminal, just an infraction, similiar to breaking traffic laws. The prosecuters in New York are doung this already on their own (which is basically anarchy, with them ignoring the current law).

  3. hashem yerachem, do you think they will start selling this stuff in the Irv for when a bocher feels ungezetst? who supported this crack head??

  4. The senator is 100% right about this. This legislation is terrible. And in CO and WA , where weed is legal, citations for DWI have increased tremendously, as well as casualties from DWI. Its crazy. I hope it doesn’t pass in the Senate. Thx, Bob, for shining a light on this and I hope you get enough lawmakers on your side to defeat this insane, harmful bill.

  5. Social Justice never had anything to do with it. That’s clear. Im glad Senator Singer is calling out our Governor on this. Sadly, I think it’s even worse – in a way, legalizing marijuana is bad for the inner city – they’re the ones who are gonna use it the most which leads to a vicious cycle of loss of productive time, at school or at work, which will lead to increasingly diminished earning power. It’ll just be a long downward spiral.

  6. The governor did say he was going to decriminalize marijuana small amounts.
    Let’s get this right It was all about charging people with small amounts to make money for the legal system and lawyers

  7. Marijuana should be regulated and taxed similar to alcohol. Alcohol prohibition was an abject failure, and the war on drugs is likewise ineffective. Decriminalization does somewhat solve the social justice issue, but it will allow the black market to thrive. Marijuana should fall under a regulatory body similar to the ABC, although hopefully with less bureaucracy and complexity of licensing. It’s a substance with both positive and negative effects that responsible adults should have a choice about using.

    Should Murphy have asked for a decriminalization bill that would set up a foundation for legalization once the kinks could be worked out? Perhaps – I’m not privy to the legislative hurdles of building upon one piece of passed legislation. It probably makes more sense to do it once and do it right.

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