NJ: Decriminalizing Pot Isn't The Answer

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
In response to an editorial "Is legalizing pot reefer madness?" New Jersey should legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over. Decriminalization does not go far enough.

Decriminalization does not address the illegal, uncontrolled and unregulated marijuana market. Eliminating this market is necessary to reduce the harms associated with marijuana prohibition, including disparities in arrests for people of color and keeping marijuana away from youth.

Because decriminalization continues to operate within the prohibition framework, there will continue to be racial disparities in arrests for marijuana. Currently in New Jersey, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized marijuana. Evidence from these jurisdictions has demonstrated that regulation works. These states have raised millions of dollars in tax revenue, created new jobs and have seen youth use remain stable or even decline in some age groups.

Moreover, in states where marijuana has been legalized, opioid overdoses cases at hospitals have declined. As New Jersey continues to experience rising opioid overdose rates, marijuana can play in important role in addressing this issue.

It's time to enact smart and popular marijuana reform to create a responsible, safe and controlled market that benefits all New Jerseyans.


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Full Article: LETTER: Decriminalizing pot isn’t the answer
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