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Really, Dave Neese? You thought we needed “‘Reefer Madness,’ updated” (The Trentonian, 7/15/23)?
Madness is best dealt with by minimizing its impact and severity, not trying to cause a resurgence in it.
But Mr. Neese’s column indicates reefer madness will never die. There is too much money involved in marijuana prohibition, and some people simply refuse to accept any evidence that marijuana is a benign and relatively harmless substance.
The commission is set to meet for its monthly meeting Thursday, where it will discuss an array of topics, including making curbside pickup and home delivery permanent, bringing down the cost of medical marijuana cards, and approving another 81 cannabis licenses.
But notably missing from the agenda are two long-awaited topics: workplace regulations for employers who suspect a worker is high on the job, and the approval of edibles like brownies, cookies, and chocolate bars.
The state is just days away from legal sales of adult-use recreational marijuana. Assistant general manager Joe Greene says ZenLeaf in Elizabeth is ready for launch this Thursday, when the recreational cannabis marketplace opens in New Jersey. Just a few weeks ago, ZenLeaf was one of seven medical facilities blocked by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission from launching a recreational marketplace. But last week, all seven were approved.
In October, 2021, the state approved 14 permits, mostly for growers. Others are still waiting
A backlog of permit approvals is just one hurdle.
There are also issues about what products, such as edibles, will be sold and in what forms.
New Jersey law currently bans most edibles, including gummies and other candy forms of cannabis, in an effort to keep the products from appealing to children.
However, at its last meeting, the CRC invited input from invited guests and the public about how to handle these products, New Jersey 101.5 reported, and some provided feedback indicating that regulators should reconsider the ban.
“Any form of edibles should be permitted as long as the regulatory procedures are followed,” Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, told the commission, according to New Jersey 101.5. “There should be no arbitrary exclusions placed on cannabis products.”
“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.”
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.
Why We Must End Cannabis Prohibition In New Jersey
The video includes compelling statements by:
1) Scott Rudder - The New Jersey Cannabusiness Association (NJCA)
“New Jersey arrests 94 people every day for marijuana possession.”
2) Charlana McKeithen - Garden State NORML
“For a fair and just society, New Jersey must legalize marijuana.”
3) Dr. David Nathan - Doctors For Cannabis Regulation (DFCR)
“This drug should never have been made against the law in the first place.”
Assistant Health Commissioner Jeff Brown, who oversees New Jersey’s medicinal cannabis program, has told the state’s six nonprofit marijuana treatment centers that if they apply to become for-profit entities, they must first present the Health Department with a plan for how they will lower costs for patients.
Ken Wolski, the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, said Wednesday that it’s vitally important to lower medical marijuana prices because many patients are limited financially.
A decade after winning a Super Bowl, former Giant Amani Toomer has explored a different industry: marijuana. Toomer will be one of several speakers at the NJ Cannabis Career Fair and Business Expo at Stockton University.
The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Stockton University Campus Center (101 Vera King Farris Dr., Galloway). Topics will include the state medical marijuana program, the role of nurses in medical marijuana, cannabis cultivation, cannabis careers and labor issues, and how marijuana businesses can strengthen communities.
Marijuana legalization also includes financial benefits to society from taxes and cost avoidance. Property taxes may well go down when the state no longer has to endure the expense of arresting 34,000 residents each year, mostly for possessing small amounts of marijuana. A robust marijuana industry contributes to the state in many ways.