There is a question of safety.
Police can no longer arrest people for possessing marijuana but there is no legal way to buy it right now. Marijuana industry expert Mike McQueeny says this could be a quicker way to access legal weed. Setting up dispensaries will take longer.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reports, St. Sen. Vin Gopal sponsored a bill to allow anyone 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
“So to truly legalize cannabis home growers should be an option, “Gopal said. “It’s no different than other states like California who have adopted this… . The reality is, as a country and as a state, we’ve spent billions of dollars on the failed war on drugs. And this is just one piece of making sure that it’s truly legalized.”
TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Could New Jersey residents soon be allowed to legally grow marijuana at home?
“We have some of the most expensive medical marijuana in the country,” Wolski said. “So many patients are just, you know, have already been impoverished by their illnesses that they simply cannot afford this medicine.”
Gopal says it would be up to local municipalities whether or not to allow dispensaries or growers.
“It’s going to take at least six months to make our initial rules and regulations, and then only at that point, will they start soliciting adult use licenses. And then it will take another 90 days for those licenses to get considered. And only then can they start the process of opening up,” McQueeny said.
“Sixty seven percent of New Jerseyans voted yes for adult use cannabis. You know, they were voting for, you know, safe, and regulated cannabis, not the Wild West,” he said.
And Sen. Kip Bateman, Vin Gopal and Declan O’Scanlon, are backing S3582, which would go even further, allowing both adult-use and medical cannabis home cultivation.
Even though Murphy’s first-ever run for governor promised the legalization of marijuana — he was practically elected on it — he has never been an advocate of homegrown weed. Now, for the first time ever, we are hearing signs that it could be allowed in the near future. He said his earlier opinion, which vehemently opposed home cultivation, is one that he, “would be open-minded to considering adjusting,” according to an article on headynj.com.
There haven’t been many more polarizing issues than the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. There are those who were staunchly against it — and even those who were advocates of legalization still had an issue with people growing their own marijuana plants in New Jersey.
But so many states who have legalized recreational marijuana have already jumped on the grow your own bandwagon — usually with limitations — and it looks like Gov. Murphy might be easing his opposition to it.
A growing list of legislators, slowly but surely, are becoming supporters of the idea, too.
For example, bill S3420, the Medical Cannabis Homegrow Act, is sponsored by Troy Singleton, and now will also be sponsored by Anthony Bucco and Brian Stack.
The article also relates that Steve Sweeney and cannabis sponsor and Judiciary Committee Chair Nick Scutari’s early support of considering home cultivation options. It seems like just a matter of time until we figure it all out and growing your own, at least with certain exceptions and limitations, will be legal here in New Jersey — as it should be in a state whose flag is emblazoned with the words “Liberty and Prosperity.” For once, the folds under the Golden dome in Trenton may actually prove that they mean it.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.