In a not-too-shocking twist, a formally bold New Jersey Senate — pummeled by misinformation, illogical panic and religious idiocy — is beginning to show signs of cracking on one of the key issues of the 2017 gubernatorial election, the legalization of marijuana. Our new governor, Phil Murphy was elected this past November with 56 percent of the vote on the force of this promise. This space fully endorsed his candidacy — only done maybe twice in two decades here — for this issue based on last summer’s details of the NJ Senate’s proposed bill to do so, which Murphy then used as one of his campaign platforms. The economic and legal ramifications of this vote is, in my humble opinion and backed with strong data from states who have gone this route, are important for the money desperately needed for education, infrastructure and to finally deal with a state that is taxed higher than almost every other in the union. Plus, it is stupid to make a vice that is scientifically less damaging than alcohol illegal, allowing only drug dealers to profit from its overwhelming use.
It is simple common sense, reality statistics and economic solvency we are discussing here. And it must be done by this governor within the first 100 days, as promised, or the shit will come down.
The support for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey currently is around 42 percent, so it is not as important an issue for as many as it is here, but for those who understand how important this will be for the region (New York has suddenly begun discussions long overdue in legalizing it and seeing the same positive economic indicators if they do), it is paramount.
I implore Senate President Stephen Sweney, a fellow architect and strong proponent of this bill, to stand strong and get your constituents in line. Many Democrats, of course, have been besieged with the usual nonsense that has no basis in reality to thwart this effort; preachers, knee-jerk lazy cops, who cannot help by whine about adding freedoms, and those who are afraid to make this kind of political leap. Republicans too are split, but if they are truly for state’s rights, free-market control beyond government regulation and economic sanity, then the choice is easy.
The real indicator that this is on the cusp of happening is the panic among the opponents of the bill, who suddenly, after years of fear-mongering and draconian crap from the former governor, are pitching the always half-assed decriminalization concept along with expanding medicinal marijuana.
Fuck that. They had their chance, and with no prior support for an economically sound and legally binding push for legalization, they wish to water it down to appease pot heads and liberals. This is NOT about that. This is about pulling the dumb and scared into the 21st century. It is about stopping the cuts on our already razor-thin educations budget, our crumbling infrastructure and what is likely to be escalating taxes thanks to the ridiculously irresponsible and possibly unconstitutional federal government tax reform that puts limits on our write-offs here. Not to mention the way the economic structure of the Western Hemisphere will crumble if this idiotic trade war the president of the United States wants to embroil us in which will raise the price of automobiles, canned goods, etc.
If you support this bill and the idea of legalizing weed you must contact you state legislator, and for that I provide a handy little list. Find yours and call them and tell them to be brave and stand up for the electorate and do the right thing for the state.
Dawn Marie Addiego (R) – Medford, NJ 08055 (609) 654-1498
Christopher Bateman (R) – Somerville, NJ 08876 (908) 526-3600
James Beach (D) – Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 (856) 429-1572
Chris A. Brown (R) – Linwood, NJ 08221 (609) 677-8266
Anthony R. Bucco (R) – Denville, NJ 07834 (973) 627-9700
Gerald Cardinale (R) – Cresskill, NJ 07626 (201) 567-2324
Richard J. Codey (D) – Livingston, NJ 07039 (973) 535-5017
Christopher J. Connors (R) – Forked River, NJ 08731 (609) 693-6700
Kristin M. Corrado (R) – Wayne, NJ 07470 (973) 237-1360
Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D) – Camden, NJ 08102 (856) 541-1251
Joseph P. Cryan (D) – Union, NJ 07083 (908) 624-0880
Sandra B. Cunningham (D) – Jersey City, NJ 07305 (201) 451-5100
Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D) – South Plainfield, NJ 07080 (908) 757-1677
Michael J. Doherty (R) – Washington, NJ 07882 (908) 835-0552
Nia H. Gill, Esq. (D) – Montclair, NJ 07042 (973) 509-0388
Vin Gopal (D) – Ocean Twp., NJ 07712 (732) 695-3371
Robert M. Gordon (D) – Fair Lawn, NJ 07410 (201) 703-9779
Linda R. Greenstein (D) – Cranbury, NJ 08512 (609) 395-9911
James W. Holzapfel (R) – Brick, NJ 08724 (732) 840-9028
Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R) – Westfield, NJ 07090 (908) 232-3673
Fred H. Madden, Jr. (D) – Turnersville, NJ 08012 (856) 232-6700
Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr. (R) – Red Bank, NJ 07701 (732) 933-1591
Steven V. Oroho (R) – Sparta, NJ 07871 (973) 300-0200
Joseph Pennacchio (R) – Montville, NJ 07045 (973) 227-4012
Nellie Pou (D) – Paterson, NJ 07505 (973) 247-1555
Ronald L. Rice (D) – Newark, NJ 07106 (973) 371-5665
- Teresa Ruiz (D) – Newark, NJ 07104 (973) 484-1000
Nicholas J. Sacco (D) – North Bergen, NJ 07047 (201) 295-0200
Paul A. Sarlo – Wood-Ridge, NJ 07075 (201) 804-8118
Nicholas P. Scutari (D) – Linden, NJ 07036 (908) 587-0404
Robert W. Singer (R) – Lakewood, NJ 08701 (732) 987-5669
Troy Singleton (D) – Moorestown, NJ 08057 (856) 234-2790
Bob Smith (D) – Piscataway, NJ 08854 (732) 752-0770
Brian P. Stack (D) – Jersey City, NJ 07307 (201) 721-5263
Stephen M. Sweeney (D) – West Deptford, NJ 08086 (856) 251-9801
Samuel D. Thompson (R) – Old Bridge, NJ 08857 (732) 607-7580
Shirley K. Turner (D) – Ewing Twp., NJ 08628 (609) 323-7239
Jeff Van Drew (D) – Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 (609) 465-0700
Joseph F. Vitale (D) – Woodbridge, NJ 07095 (732) 855-7441
Loretta Weinberg (D) – Teaneck, NJ 07666 (201) 928-0100
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June, 2018; “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”