Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2016. But there have been a number of complaints with the program as it stands. The medical marijuana available at dispensaries is far too expensive, forcing many to leave the medical program and obtain marijuana the old-fashioned way, through the use of a black-market dealer. Amazingly, the medical marijuana in New Jersey has higher levels of toxins than standard marijuana, according to independent testing facilities. This is what happens when there are a limited number of centralized permits given to institutions. The monopolies will always lead to a price increase and a power abuse. For this reason, among others (such as a huge delay in implementation since 2010), many New Jersey residents are eagerly pushing for recreational marijuana in the state. According to polls, the majority of New Jersey residents are in favor of recreational legalization.
Pot for Criminals
In the upcoming elections, it seems that who you vote for will determine whether marijuana gets legalized in the state or not. Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor, is prepared to follow the lead of states like Colorado by legalizing marijuana in New Jersey and taxing its sale. His Republican opponent, GovKim Guadagno, would go only half as far. She wants to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, but would continue to arrest and imprison those who sell it.Legislators say that Guadagno’s half-step would be far more likely to win approval next year.
Unfortunately, as many have suggested, this would actually lead to an increase in crime. When marijuana is 100% legalized, fully at the mercy of free market and adhering to standards, there can be no black market. When things are declared illegal, there is more money and thus more crime, meaning more thefts and murders. This can be done away with by full legalization and taxing and regulating marijuana to alight degree. There would be no such thing as a black market. Consumers would have a choice of paying for top quality marijuana at a shop or risky marijuana from somebody they do not know. It can safely be said that most consumers are intelligent enough to choose the marijuana that has been tested to be toxin free than the marijuana that is most likely full of toxins and chemicals. With full legalization, black market marijuana would be killed off within 2 years. It would not be able to compete. Yes, there will always be small pockets of black market dealers, but you cannot legislate everything away without completely destroyingpeoples’ liberty and tracking everything. There needs to be some small amount of risk, risk being an intrinsic part of business and life in general.
Many contend that Guadagno, a former sheriff who presents herself as a law-and-order candidate, offers an approach that drug dealers would celebrate. Decriminalizing marijuana would no doubt increase the demand for it; but the trade would be left in the hands of criminals. It would be a boon for the gangs and thugs who profit from this trade. Another point made is that Guadagno’s proposal does nothing to rectify the disproportionate number of African Americans in the New Jersey prison complex, said to be more skewed by race than any other state. To put some perspective on the issue, marijuana arrests outnumber all arrests for violent crimes combined. In other words, the vast number of criminals are in jail for…nothing. Blacks and Latinos account for 96% of people arrested for marijuana dealing. And as a final point, if freeing tens of thousands of improperly imprisoned human beings is not enough along with putting an end to actual crime, is that legal sales of money will generate significant amounts of revenue. There really is nothing to Guadagno’s policy, a slightly better state of affairs, in the sense of being slightly better than completely inhumane and illogical.
Guadagno made one assertion that marijuana related traffic deaths in Colorado have jumped by 48% since legalization. This assertion is based on a single study that was held to be flawed. The drivers were not high at the time of the accidents, they just happened to have marijuana in their system, which can linger for weeks. The vast majority of other studies completed in other states actually indicates that the total number of road fatalities in states goes down in the subsequent years following marijuana legalization. And numerous studies have shown that alcohol is a much more serious cause of road accident fatalities.
The New Governor?
As shown by independent polls, the majority of New Jersey residents want recreational marijuana. Guadagno’s thinly veiled contentions will be unlikely the pull the wool over the eyes of street wise New Jersians. Hopefully New Jersey can become the 9th state to put an end to a war on plants that has led to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of badly suffering patients since its ban in 1937 and to the false incarceration of who knows how many African Americans. Guadagno’s policy does nothing to change this whatsoever, and it is the minimum she can offer while still having a shot at winning the election.