It’s been a difficult road when it comes to the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. NJ Medical Marijuana Legalization in 2020 and legalization of recreational marijuana are at the top of everyone’s minds it seems. Buyweed-NJ has been keeping you updated on this situation, and today is no different. First, a little history on NJ Medical Marijuana Legalization in 2020 and recreational legalization.
2017 Legislation was Not Successful
Rewind back to 2017 when Scutari, an advocate for legalizing recreational marijuana, introduced a bill in May of 2017 to legalize marijuana. This bill said that adults 21 and older would be able to legally possess and consume marijuana, but it didn’t sit very well with then-governor Christie.
The proposal’s contents included:
- Did not allow for the cultivation of cannabis for personal use.
- New Jersey adults 21 or older could legally possess cannabis up to one ounce, and could possess edible cannabis products up to 16 ounces, cannabis-infused drinks and oils up to 72 ounces, and concentrates up to seven ounces.
- Sales tax would be imposed on cannabis products. The taxes for the first and second years would be seven and 10 percent respectively, with the tax progressively increasing by five percent each year until reaching 25 percent after four years.
Even after Christie left, Scutari’s proposal was not approved. But it was quickly followed in the assembly by the proposal of more than 15 other legalization requests. Current Governor Murphy supports legalization, and has repeatedly displayed his support, going so far as to say marijuana should be decriminalized as a temporary measure.
New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act: June of 2018
Scutari went on to introduce another bill in 2018 to the same effect: asking that the state legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana, with President of the New Jersey Senate Stephen M. Sweeney co-sponsoring the proposal. The bill proposed that:
- 12 percent sales tax would be imposed on marijuana products, with municipalities placing an additional two percent tax.
- It would become legal to possess up to one ounce of recreational marijuana.
Legislative gridlock brought that proposal to a screeching halt, plus Murphy and Sweeney come not come to an agreement on the proposal’s details. Democratic Senator Ronald Rice, along with a majority of Republicans, also opposed marijuana legalization. Advocates of marijuana legalization needed support from Senate Democrats and Republicans for it to pass but yet another impasse stood in the way: Murphy and Sweeney were not able to pull enough support from senators to legalize it.
2020 Recreational Marijuana Legalization Will be on November Ballot
A marijuana legalization poll will appear on the 2020 ballot on November 3, known as the New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Amendment.
If the referendum garners enough support on the ballot and passes, the possession and consumption of marijuana will become legal in New Jersey for adults 21 and older. If the proposal indeed passes, it will make its way back to lawmakers who will then decide which laws will oversee the state’s recreational marijuana industry. Other states have added proposals for recreational marijuana on the 2020 ballot, including Arkansas, Arizona, Missouri, Florida, and North Dakota.
Sixty-two percent of New Jersey adults said they would support legalizing the possession of marijuana in small quantities, with 32 percent opposing such legalization, revealed a recent Monmouth University poll. It stands to reason, then, that if most voters support the measure, recreational marijuana legalization in 2020 could become a reality later this year in the state.