Ok, maybe there won’t be any actual lighting up – not in public anyway. However, pro-marijuana activists remain hard at work as the calendar nears April 20, known by many to be an underground celebration day for pot smokers. (It’s also Earth Day.)
Rallies are planned in Trenton on April 20 and Camden on May 2.
In addition to the obvious reasons activists want recreational pot legalized in New Jersey, event organizers maintain that decriminalizing the drug will save taxes and attract millions of dollars to the state in commerce. Washington and Colorado are the two states in the country where it’s legal to purchase and smoke pot just for the fun of it.
Many other states, including New York, Connecticut, Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, have decriminalized marijuana. This means that first-time personal usage and possession offenders may not get prison time or have a criminal record.
New Jersey has, to date, said “no” to decriminalization. Proponents of the legalization movement say that the state could tax sales of pot, bringing money into the state’s coffers. Further, as Washington and Colorado have seen, the demand for legal pot is strong.
While about half the people (48 percent) polled one year ago in a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press survey said they would support making recreational pot legal in New Jersey, the other half (47 percent) opposed it.
Public sentiment about the issue may still be murky, but the law is crystal clear. New Jersey has a very strict stance on prosecuting marijuana lawbreakers. (In fact, pro-pot leaders say the state could save millions in taxes by easing up on police efforts to corral the drug’s use.)
New Jersey is fourth highest in marijuana arrests in the Northeast. If you or someone you know is facing drug charges in New Jersey, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight your charges. Contact Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC for tireless representation today.