With the legalization of marijuana on the rise in the country more and more states are flirting with the idea of legalization not just for medicinal purposes but for recreational purposes as well. One of those states is New Jersey, and many believe the fact that some of the reason new Governor Phil Murphy was elected is because legalizing marijuana is one of the things he promised to do as governor during his campaign. There are many who disagree with him on both of these points as there are those who think it could hurt the state rather than help it, which is why it is important to look at the different ways marijuana could affect New Jersey if it is in fact legalized.
New Jersey Tax Revenue
One of the main reasons for wanting to legalize marijuana is the large increase in tax revenue the state would receive. It has been projected that New Jersey would make close to $300 million in revenue once marijuana is legalized for recreational use, something that other states that have legalized the drug are already enjoying the benefits from. With property taxes at an all time high and a battle over pensions that has yet to be settled this could be a very effective way to bring a huge amount of revenue to a state that needs it badly.
America has an unfortunately large number of its citizens behind bars and a huge reason for this high number of arrests are people charged in low-end drug crimes. New Jersey arrested more people on marijuana charges that any other state besides New York and Texas in 2016 although those two states have a much larger population than New Jersey has. Furthermore, across the country the amount of arrests for marijuana has been on the decline while in New Jersey that number has continued to rise with black people being arrested at a rate of three times that of a white person. If and when New Jersey decides to legalize marijuana arrests for low-level marijuana crimes this could finally make prison overcrowding a thing of the past.
In addition to stopping low-level marijuana arrests going forward it will also be possible for people to start clearing past marijuana charges that they currently have on their record. This would be a huge help in reducing the amount of people behind bars for such charges as well as those who have are already served their time yet find these past charges make it much more difficult for them to find a job today.
Speaking of jobs once marijuana is legalized a new thriving cannabis business will be growing in the state which means a whole new industry of jobs will be available. This in turn would not only give people more opportunities to make money but this would mean even more taxes and revenue that the state could collect as well. Currently some New Jersey lawmakers have introduced bills to make sure that at least 15 percent of these businesses will be in fact owned by women or minorities.
Not everyone is on board with marijuana legalization and as of now it has not yet been put to a vote. From concerns about people’s health to the availability it may have for children not all lawmakers are behind these new bills and state that they refuse to support it. Regardless, the battle for the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey marches on as the people wait to hear the final verdict.
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The laws surrounding marijuana are changing and if you or a loved one are involved in a situation such as this you need a qualified lawyer who is experienced with the law and can guide you through these new rules. Contact attorney Jill R. Cohen by calling today or fill out the contact form on this page to set-up your initial consultation.
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