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Print Posted on 08/10/2017 in MMJ Laws

Next NJ Governor Expected to Broaden MMJ Laws

Next NJ Governor Expected to Broaden MMJ Laws

Gov. Chris Christie says legalizing recreational marijuana is "beyond stupidity" -- but chances are New Jersey's next governor will be much more receptive to changing the law.

The leading candidates in Tuesday's gubernatorial primary elections all say they'll consider broader marijuana laws, including Democratic front-runner Phil Murphy, who supports legalization.

Marijuana is recreationally legal in eight states, from Oregon to Massachusetts. New Jersey has a medical marijuana program, but term-limited Christie, who leaves office in January, opposes expansion.

Advocates say changing the law would keep petty drug offenders out of the courts and yield $300 million annually in new tax revenue -- an amount too lucrative for Christie's successor to overlook, said Matthew Hale, a Seton Hall University political scientist.

"All of the Democrats are talking about new programs and new spending, and the only way you get there is with $300 million in new taxes from this," Hale said. "Even the Republican candidates are talking about decriminalization, though stopping there as they play to the law-and-order wing of their party. Still, I think people in New Jersey voting for governor will be far more interested in what's happening with property taxes, or if their kid will be able to get a job."

Original Article HERE