Yes, there have been problems associated with the legalization of marijuana. But it is only in a system of government-regulated distribution of marijuana that these problems can be identified and addressed. New Jersey will insist on proper labeling of marijuana products, age and activity restrictions and a ban on marketing to minors.
The illegal market follows no rules — it uses minors to distribute drugs and violence to settle differences. The more U.S. people arrested for marijuana violations, currently over 30,000 a year, the more people are marginalized and forced to illegal sources of income. The war on marijuana makes the drug problem worse. Indeed, it makes society itself worse.
Public health and public safety would be increased if New Jersey finally legalizes and appropriately regulates marijuana for adults. And, yes, revenue would be increased and criminal justice costs would be avoided. The sooner this happens, the better.