New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s proposal to end the marijuana ban in the country was backed today by several Democratic politicians in that state, including gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy.
“The marijuana ban has been counterproductive – it has ruined countless lives in New Jersey and across the country, has squandered billions of dollars in resources to comply with the law and made our streets less secure,” said the senator Nicholas Scutari, chair of the Judiciary Committee.
Scutari is author of the bill to legalize the possession and personal use of small amounts of this drug for people over 21 who would also create a tax, but prohibits their seeding in private households, which is opposed by the Outgoing Republican governor Chris Christie.
Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachussetts, Nevada, plus the District of Columbia, in.
Scutari’s proposal, in the hands of the Judiciary Committee that held its first hearing on June 19, is similar to the Colorado law that went into effect in 2014, where a bipartisan group of lawmakers traveled last year to meet first Hand its impact.
“As a state and as a country, we can not afford to sacrifice public safety and the civil rights of our residents by continuing the ineffective and wasteful policies of marijuana,” said the Senator, also a co-author of the law authorizing the use of Marijuana for medical purposes.
The senator has argued that his legislation will bring revenue to the state, as in Colorado, which recorded $ 1.3 billion in medical sales and retail sales in 2016.
Scutari congratulated New Jersey ex-mayor Booker for “having the courage” to take on legalization at the federal level.
“I’m glad we have a partner in the effort to end our failed drug laws and a strong advocate for legalization in Congress,” he added.
The Democrat candidate for governor in next November’s election said on the other hand that New Jersey’s laws on marijuana “have failed in our communities, especially among young people and people of color, to be marked with a criminal record” .
Murphy noted that Booker’s legislation “promotes social justice.”
Booker’s three-day proposal also found support for other elected officials in New Jersey and organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law and the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.
Booker has argued in defense of his proposal that a conviction for drugs makes it difficult to find work, licenses to establish a business, can not obtain grants from federal grants or public housing or food bonds and noted that most arrests are made in communities Poor.
The proposal faces a legislature and administration dominated by Republicans, who oppose it.