Changes Suggested to Marijuana Bill Don’t Wilt Opposition

NJTV News | July 19, 2018 | Politics
Sen. Ron Rice, leader of Legislative Black Caucus, remains steadfast against measure

A bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has won significant support in Trenton but it has also garnered opposition. A state Assemblyman is offering amendments to the measure, but they don’t appear to be enough to sway the main opponents.

While the current bill limits to 218 the number of marijuana dispensaries statewide, including medical, Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) proposes instead that state regulators should set the number annually. Other Holley amendments would make it easier for those convicted of marijuana possession to have their criminal records expunged and for small businesses to get involved in the new enterprise.

The main resistance from the outset has come from the Legislative Black Caucus, led by Sen. Ron Rice (D-Essex). “They want to call them dispensaries, but they’re going to be stores that do retail selling cupcakes with marijuana, candies with marijuana, sex toys and oils with marijuana, lipsticks with marijuana, all those kinds of products that kids can get, and people can get,” Rice said.

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