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Poll: Would the Garden State Be Greener If We Legalized Grass?

There are strong economic reasons to legalize marijuana, but is it a matter of more than money?

New Jersey Sen. Nick Scutari has seen the future, and it features the legalized use of recreational marijuana in the Garden State. Scutari, back from a fact-finding trip to Colorado, the poster child of over-the-counter pot (in just about every form, from classic brownies to THC-infused lollipops), argues there’s more at stake than giggles and munchies.

Legalized marijuana can be taxed and taxed heavily (27.9 percent on sales in Colorado), and once it’s no longer a crime, police departments can devote time and personnel to other pursuits. For the record, medical marijuana is already legal in New Jersey —Scutari was instrumental in writing that legislation — though advocates say the state controls sales and distribution far too tightly.

Is it time for New Jersey to legalize grass?

  • No. Legalizing recreational marijuana is a very bad idea whose time hasn’t come. All we need is another intoxicant to push up the already appalling incidence of DWI accidents and deaths. People will think nothing about having a few tokes and getting behind the wheel of their cars.

  • No. Gov. Chris Christie has it right: Marijuana is a gateway drug. We already have a huge problem with opioid addiction. Legalizing marijuana will only lead to far more addicts.

  • Not yet. There is no rush to legalize the drug. Let's wait and see how it plays out in other states: What worked? What went wrong? Did the bad guys muscle their way into the business and gain control? What are other states doing to prevent that from happening?

  • Yes. Scutari is on point. Legalizing pot would give the state a much-needed revenue boost, and freeing up the police to do other jobs would mean that tax dollars are being spent more efficiently. Both good things to keep in mind in budget season.

  • Yes. The whole question is absurd. Marijuana should be freely available to anyone over 18 who wants to buy it. Time to end the reign of dealers and police crackdowns on victimless crimes.

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