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Legalization Efforts in New Jersey Come to a Halt

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Marijuana legalization in New Jersey has recently come to a grinding halt. Even though Governor Phil Murphy fought for support for a legalization bill, he and other political supporters could not rally enough support to pass it. So, what are the next steps for legalization?

In a recent announcement, State Senate President, Stephen Sweeney, said that lawmakers will ask citizens to vote whether marijuana should be legalized or not. Also, the requirements to be accepted into the medical marijuana program will be broadened, if the expansion bill is passed. Currently, many people cannot get access to medical marijuana, or enough medical marijuana. A young boy of seven years old, named Jake Honig, lost his life after a battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Medical marijuana was used to ease his suffering, however, the two ounce limit was not enough to last the entire month, until it was possible to obtain more. Thanks in part to the support and awareness that was raised because of Jake, the medical marijuana program will be “dramatically” expanded. Hopefully, this will ease the suffering of many more people who do not have easy access to medical marijuana and its benefits.

Also, a record expungement bill will still be moving forward, allowing people with a past history of marijuana-related drug convictions to have their records wiped clean.  This is a change that has been controversial, however, following the guidance of other states, is the step in the right direction.  As this all moves forward, New Jersey residents will have to prepare for November 2020, approximately. This is when lawmakers will allow voters to vote on whether or not they want recreational marijuana to be legalized in their state. As mentioned in the past, the tri-state area is in a race as to who will legal recreational use of marijuana first. New York alone could bring in more than $4 billion a year in sales from marijuana, and create tens of thousands of jobs. Because of this wait, many Democrats and Governor Murphy himself are upset that the progress is being stalled, but assure that progress will be made. For now, the fate of recreational marijuana legalization rests in the hands of New Jersey voters.

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