Will Governor Phil Murphy Follow Through with his Promise to Legalize Marijuana?
A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 59 percent of people in New Jersey believe that medical marijuana should be legal. The poll, released March 13, also found that 39 percent of those surveyed said that they believed that alcohol was more dangerous than marijuana, with 48 percent saying that alcohol and marijuana are equally unsafe.
While most people surveyed said that they think marijuana is safer than alcohol, less than 10 percent said that they would definitely try marijuana if it was legal. At least 13 percent said that they would probably try marijuana if it were legal in the state. At least 58 percent said that they definitely would not try legal marijuana, and 8 percent said they would probably not try marijuana if it becomes legal.
The governor of the state, Gov. Phil Murphy, plans to legalize recreational marijuana in the state by Jan.1 and campaigned on marijuana legalization. Murphy said that legalizing weed is a social justice issue when he addressed his fiscal budget.
“Decriminalization alone will not put the corner dealer out of business, it will not help us protect our kids, and it will not end the racial disparities we see. If these are our goals, as they must be, then the only sensible option is the careful legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana sales to adults,” said the governor. Murphy’s fiscal budget included marijuana tax revenue of $80 million. He added that the state needs to open the door for non-violent drug-related offenses.
The survey also showed that 79 percent of people 18 to 34 support legalizing marijuana, with 61 percent of Independents and 69 percent Democrats in support. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a tweet Wednesday also showing his supporting legalization.