Marijuana Would be Legal in NJ Under Bill [POLL/AUDIO]
Possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use would be legal in New Jersey under a newly introduced bill.
"With my bill New Jersey would allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana without any criminal penalty," said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton). "The state would be able to generate tax revenue, much like Colorado has been doing with their legalization of up to one ounce of marijuana."
Those new tax dollars could be used to hire more police, and fund programs to help Garden State residents who are struggling with heroin addiction and other drug abuse issues, according to Gusciora.
But the legislation is likely to have a tough road ahead.
Not only would the full legislature have to pass the measure, but New Jersey voters would also have to approve it. It would also have to be signed by Gov. Chris Christie, and he's on record saying he's not willing to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
"It would have to be signed by the governor because it's not a constitutional proposal, but it's simply creating a new law in the state," Gusciora said. "I think that he (Christie) would say, 'If the voters supported this, then so be it.'"
But that is unlikely. When the issue came up during his town hall event in South River Tuesday, Christie said he would work with the legislature on the state's medical marijuana program to help more people if it makes sense, but that's as far as he will go.
"What I'm not willing to do is legalize it or permit recreational use or things that would lead to that," Christie said.