As the great marijuana debate continues to plow through the United States, several states have continued to gain a favorable perspective on the little green plant. Recently, following the 2018 election, Missouri and Utah officially legalized medical-grade cannabis (despite pushbacks from groups in the past couple of years), and Michigan became the 10th state to legalize the recreational use of the drug. However, one state that has been in the cannabis community’s spotlight for several years now is New Jersey, due to a past battle between lawmakers and the public. However, according to recent sources, the fight to legalize pot in the Garden State might be taking a different turn, very soon. Based on a report from key policymakers in New Jersey, some legal representatives are preparing to vote on bills that will officially legalize recreational marijuana. Let’s take a closer look at the situation and find out more.
Kickstarting the New Timeline
Recently, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s office announced the introduction of a new timeline for the state’s legislative process, which would involve talks about legalizing marijuana. According to this report, the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate will be holding a hearing very soon in the future. Ultimately, if Sweeney’s projections come true, state lawmakers will approve a bill for pot legalization no later than November 26, 2018.
Nevertheless, additional action will still be required even if these committees approve the drug. At some point, the Assembly and the Senate will have to vote independently, ultimately wrapping up the issue with final approval and a signature from Governor Phil Murphy.
So what problems remain? Assemblyman Ronald Rice is still serving as a roadblock for the legalization process but not because he is opposed to the drug. According to sources, Rice wants to move with decriminalization before legalization.
Recently, lawmakers put forward a recreational pot proposal back in September. Based on the legislation, the state could allow businesses to set up smoking lounges (approved by local and state governments) and repair damages inflicted on communities by prohibition.
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