As a New Jerseyan seriously harmed by cannabis prohibition, I’m concerned with the fact that even though we legalized it, people in the state can still go to jail for growing it.
I’m also concerned that people who’ve been disadvantaged by prohibition may have a hard time affording legal or medicinal cannabis and feel that home grow is an equity provision that’s an integral part of legalization for social justice.
In an interview regarding home grow legislation, Sen. Nicholas Scutari suggested legislators wait and possibly make a post-pandemic trip to Colorado to learn from their experience with home grow.
He also noted that home grow was left out of our legalization because limits on the number of plants are unenforceable and because he feared it would enable the illicit market in New Jersey and outlying states.
I feel there’s no need to wait or to take another trip.
Colorado’s most recent report on the issue shows an increase in cannabis cultivation arrests but states the increase may be in part because of the law on indoor plant count changing from 99 plants to 12. This change happened after legislators’ legalization fact-finding trip there.
Further, law enforcement officials testified that the large allowable amount is what made it hard to eliminate illegal growers and that reducing the grow limit helps agencies more effectively identify and stifle illegal operations.
They don’t deny legal home grow and even with it Colorado seems to be doing well selling more than $2 billion in legal marijuana in 2020.