Push to Make Weed Legal Grows in the Garden State

“I think it’s long overdue,” says local resident Bob Cox.  “New Jersey is a progressive state and I would hope the legislature gets behind this.”

Senator Brian Stack supports medical marijuana for terminally ill patients, but beyond that — needs a lot more information.

“As for legalizing marijuana as a whole, right now I’m not convinced,” Stack says.  “I think that mentality is like ‘well, you know what – if you legalize it you won’t have as many problems with it.’

“Well, what about other stuff then; what about cocaine, what about heroin, what about other types of drugs that are out there.  I just don’t think it’s a good message that we’re sending to our young people.”

A tireless advocate for marijuana reform strongly disagrees.

“I started this when I was 18 years old, I’m now only 25-years-old. I saw firsthand the effects that marijuana prohibition and the drug war has had on young people,” says Evan Nison, executive director of NORML-NJ and member of the National Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

“In terms of criminalization, taking federal financial aid away and quite honestly, being targeted by the police. A vast majority of the 21,000 arrests in New Jersey a year are young people.”

Esther, another resident worries drug users will take advantage.

“I don’t see nothing else good coming out of it,” she says.

If they legalize marijuana now, resident Al Ochoa thinks it’s going to hurt the small dealers.

“It’s just gonna get probably more expensive, more complicated, more political and they should concentrate on legalizing other things,” he says.

Despite Governor Christie repeatedly saying we won’t have recreational pot in the Garden State as long as he’s in office, Nison’s not concerned.

“I know that we’re going to legalize marijuana in New Jersey,” he says.  “It’s just a matter of when, not if. It’s a matter of how, not if.”