On Tuesday, the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, announced to the press that he was able to reach agreement with the legislature on a project of full recreational legalization, the consideration of which is scheduled for March 25. In that case, if deputies support the project, then in April, the state will become the next US region, formally legalizing marijuana. It took almost a whole year to discuss and develop the legalization project, but now, in addition to the governor, the idea is supported by many influential state politicians, such as the president of the region’s Senate, Steve Sweeney, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Craig Coughlin, senator Nicholas Scoutari and MP Annette Juliano. Murphy himself expects that hemp reform will help the state to reduce the cost of the justice system, and also create a new industry in the region.
“In addition to the economic benefits of the reform, the legalization of cannabis will allow many of our fellow citizens to avoid imprisonment for non-violent offenses,” the governor said in an interview . “I am extremely pleased that after long months of negotiations, the leaders of the Parliament and the Senate are now also aware of all the advantages of the immediate legalization of cannabis and the settlement of its production and distribution.”
Bill on the legalization of recreational cannabis:
According to the provisions of the bill, a special bureau for regulating legal cannabis will be organized under the state government, which will be engaged in monitoring the activities of the new market, as well as certification of its participants and products. At the same time, the state authorities will not strictly limit the number of shops and plantations of plants, allowing the market to develop in relative freedom, unlike some other states.
“We believe that market freedom will allow it to develop in harmony with the needs and interests of state residents. At the same time, the regulatory bureau will monitor compliance with market rules and resist gross violations of laws, such as diverting legal products to the black market or selling cannabis to minors, ”
– says Murphy.
Senator Sweeney also expects that the full legalization of cannabis will remove the highly profitable industry from the underground.
“The plan we developed will allow citizens and guests of the state to freely use recreational marijuana, subject to following a small list of rules,” the senator notes. “We tried to make the market as free as possible in order to quickly move the entire market out of the underground business. In addition, the relative freedom of work and market development, coupled with provisions aimed at amnesty of citizens previously affected by criminalization and increasing their involvement in the industry, will allow our staff to more effectively correct the consequences of the past regime’s economic and social injustice. ”
Taxes and amnesty:
- The text of the bill proposes to remove the tax of $ 42 from each sold ounce of legal cannabis. In addition, the county and city states will also receive the privilege to collect additional taxes and duties on the hemp business, in the amount of not more than 3% of the total tax.
- In addition, the bill also includes a lot of provisions aimed at amnesty for citizens affected by the criminal prosecution of the consumption and storage of cannabis, as well as to increase the inclusion of representatives of ethnic communities in the legal cannabis market.
“Over the past year, we have listened to the views of all parties interested in reform, including not only supporters, but also skeptics of legalization. This project is based on these opinions, as well as the social component of the reform, ”says Miss Juliano about the bill.
In general, supporters of the project are confident that he will not face serious resistance in either the Senate or the state parliament. In any case, the fate of legalization will be determined as early as next week, at noon on March 25.