While Phil Murphy’s proscription of marijuana criminalization received tepid applause at his keynote address at Thursday’s League of Municipalities delegate luncheon, his administration and the legislature are nevertheless equipped to move ahead with marijuana legalization.
With the Murphy administration’s choice for chief of staff, Pete Cammarano, being one of the state’s leading legalization advocates, the State House will have the political savvy and technical assistance in implementing comprehensive marijuana legalization legislation.
It allows for big Jersey players like Bill Caruso, an attorney and former executive director of the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office, to step in. Caruso, who helped start New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform in 2013, tells ROI-NJ that the best political sell is this: Cannabis may not affect your life at all – and that’s OK. Just sit back and enjoy the $300 million in tax revenue.
That, coupled with the legislature sending a delegation to Colorado last year to speak with lawmakers to better understand the impact of marijuana legalization, and the fact that legalization enjoys a 60 percent approval rating nationwide, we should be on our way to start moving on legislation.
Yes, there are many details to identify, as incoming Assembly Speaker Coughlin noted, but there should be zero roadblocks, politically, to getting moving on this.