Marijuana

Common Sense Proposal Would Treat Marijuana Like Tobacco in New Jersey

Paging Gov. Chris Christie: "Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19."

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Joe Sohm Visions of America/Newscom

A New Jersey state lawmaker has introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state and regulate it like tobacco, making it available at grocery stores and gas stations.

State Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, R-Morris, tells Politico he "never quite understood the allure" of marijuana, but believes legalizing pot makes a lot more sense than continuing a destructive and counter-productive fight against it.

"The whole point here is to get the government out of the business of treating at least marijuana use as a crime and treat it instead as a social problem," Carroll told Politico. "To me it's just not a big deal. It's already ubiquitous. Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19."

Carroll's bill would allow retailers to sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 19 (the legal age for buying cigarettes in New Jersey) and includes civil penalties for vendors who sell to underage customers. The bill would not include any limits on the amount of marijuana that an individual can possess and, importantly, it would allow past marijuana-related offenses to be expunged from criminal records.

Another bill introduced in the state legislature this week would regulate marijuana like beer—making it legal to be sold in liquor and grocery stores to anyone over the age of 21. That bill is being sponsored by state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer.

"I think what's really exciting is that folks across the political spectrum have realized that prohibition isn't working in New Jersey and they are looking to follow the good example set by Colorado and other states," said Kate Bell, legislative council for the Marijuana Policy Project.

If Carroll's bill is passed into law, New Jersey would have some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the country. But making pot available in convenience stores could create complications with federal policy, since marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug.

As a result, any convenience store selling marijuana would be unable to deduct business expenses from their taxes under IRS policy, Bell said in an interview with Reason on Friday. Like marijuana retailers in Colorado and elsewhere, stores selling pot in New Jersey might find themselves cut-off from banks as well.

Hopefully those problems will be addressed at the federal level—delisting marijuana would be the best way to do it, Bell says—as New Jersey and other states work to remove limitations on where and how marijuana can be sold.

The other major stumbling block, in New Jersey, is Gov. Chris Christie, who has vowed to veto any bill decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana and who promised during the 2016 GOP primary to "crack down" on states that have legalized recreational marijuana if he were elected president.

Christie is in his second term and cannot seek re-election in 2017 due to term limits preventing a governor from serving more than two consecutive terms.

To Christie's credit, he did sign a bill in 2010 to allow residents of New Jersey suffering from certain diseases to access medical marijuana. On Thursday, Christie signed a new bill adding PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for what the state calls "cannibis therapy."

A third bill in the New Jersey legislature would legalize marijuana only in Atlantic City and is being pitched as a possible way to revitalize the economically struggling city. It would allow the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana by adults over age 21 and would have the state regulate pot the same way it regulates gaming.

That bill, also introduced by Gusciora, would put the issue in front of voters as a statewide referendum, but has so far not received a vote in the legislature.

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66 responses to “Common Sense Proposal Would Treat Marijuana Like Tobacco in New Jersey

  1. Isn’t the New Jersey Aquarium just six goldfish in an algae-covered tank? “‘Eyy,” one of them says.

    1. It is in Camden so they say “Yo”.

  2. Nice use of “common sense”.

    Oh, I dare you not to gag. No, I fucking double dog dare you.

    When President Obama first took office, female White House staffers developed a little trick for making sure they weren’t ignored in meetings, where two-thirds of the attendees were men.

    They called it “amplification”: When one woman made a key point, another woman would repeat it, and give a nod to the source. Not only did it force the men to recognize a woman’s contribution, it prevented them from claiming it as their own.

    1. But how do you deal with bitchsterruptions?

      1. Work on your backhand… or so I hear.

        *ducks*

    2. Maybe that’s how it works in the public sector – I think we all know what kind of men are attracted to that – but in my two decades or so in the private sector I have never seen a woman “ignored” like this.

      1. Once or twice in my engineering career I came across some blatant sexism in the meeting room. In one of those cases, the offender was native Japanese and in his sixties. Not exactly the most feminist of cultures.

      2. No shit. The awesome subtext here is that the Obama administration is chockabloc with sexist, misogynist backstabbing fucks who will take credit for someone else’s work. Once again, a look into Obama’s inner circle proves that Veep is more documentary than entertainment.

    3. “Women are highly competitive with one another,” she said. “They undermine each other. Everyone talks about mean girls, but it’s a very real thing that is actually not their fault.”

      No, it’s never their fault. Of course. How could I ever have thought otherwise?

      1. They can’t help it if they were born as the weaker sex and can’t control their petty jealousies and emotional outbursts.

    4. And it was totally obvious to everyone else what was going on…

      But why was that even necessary in a progressive administration?

      1. They were in the room with a raging narcissist like Obama and his sycophantic inner circle?

        Is this like a serious question? 😉

        1. Politicians are largely people that have failed at everything else. Only in politics can they make failed promises and never meet expected results and excel anyway. As a result, their self-hatred almost always bubbles to the top in unpleasant forms.

      2. But why was that even necessary in a progressive administration?

        Yep, you saw it too. As I noted above, that’s the unintentional subtext.

      3. But why was that even necessary in a progressive administration?

        May I introduce you to Valerie Jarrett and Samantha Power?

    5. “After being raised in privilege by liberal Seattle parents, taking AP classes at Garfield and excelling in college, Bennett expected success to come easily.”
      Pffft. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. And work ain’t like school.

  3. Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19.

    Or 16 for that matter. I like that quote. It really gets to the heart of the absurdity of a lot of people’s supposed worries about legalizing medical or recreational pot. You always hear people fretting that it might get diverted to the black market, or get into the hands of teenagers, as if there isn’t already abundant supply for anyone who wants it and is willing to take the small risk to get it from illicit sources.

    1. It really gets to the heart of the absurdity of a lot of people’s supposed worries about legalizing medical or recreational pot

      My favorite is about the carnage soon to be unleashed on the roads due to “teh stoned drivers”.

    2. Summed up: “You’re fucking stupid if you think it isn’t already happening and hasn’t been happening for decades.”

    3. It’s fear-mongering, always.

    4. “Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19.”

      Let’s not go so far overboard with the hyperbole that we lose our common sense understanding of economics. That is something we libertarians pride ourselves on, isn’t it? Make something easier to get and more people will get it. That’s how supply and demand works. That’s Econ 101.

      Of course making marijuana legal is going to tend to cause some marginal increase in the number of people willing to try it or consume it more readily if it were legal. But you have to weigh the trade-offs, which means considering just how large the group of marginal consumers might be versus the group of marginal “forbidden fruit” users might be, the number of people who maybe are tempted to try it or consume it specifically because it’s illegal. Among about a million other variables.

      1. There are definitely people who don’t smoke weed simply because it is illegal.

        My point is mostly that if you want some weed, you can get it now. Legalization or medical-mj being allowed isn’t going to change that in any significant way.

        1. If LSD was legal. I’d drop it. Not often, but I would. Ditto for ecstasy or whatever it’s called these days.
          Making it legal doesn’t make it safe, but legal means that the product I’m buying is highly likely to actually LSD. I can research LSD to understand the risks I’m taking.
          Popping something into my body based on trust alone that it is what the street dealer says it is? No thanks.
          Just sayin’

    5. Or even 12.

      I grew up in the Dry Capitol of the World in the 70’s.

      Getting alcohol was difficult if you couldn’t raid the liquor cabinet or dad didn’t store his beer in the garage. I had a paper route where I could call “my guy” (his mom was a subscriber) the night before, and have a dimebag waiting in the mailbox for me the next morning. I left my $10 and never had a problem…

  4. So, you could still get killed for selling loosies without a license?

    1. Wrong state, but NJ accepts the blame anyways.

    2. Loosies? You got some ‘splainin’ to do.

  5. “Term limits” LOL

    /Michael Bloomberg

  6. If you’re an activist, be careful who you hit with pies.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) ? A man took a coconut cream pie from a grocery bag, grabbed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson from behind and smacked him in the face with it at a charity event, leading the former NBA star to start swinging and then tackle the man who was left battered and facing assault charges.

    The pie wielder and local activist, Sean Thompson, 32, said Thursday that the mayor overreacted, sending him to the hospital for nine stitches before he went to jail. He said he was angry Johnson devoted so much political energy to an arena for the city’s basketball team and not to other needs such as education and homelessness.

    1. You attacked someone by ambushing them and smashing a foreign substance in his face. A gel that stuck to his face. It could have been acid, it could have been poison, it could have been something he had a deathly allergy to.

      Fuck you Sean. If Johnson had pulled out a gun and shot Sean Thompson’s heart out through his spine, I would vote to acquit as justifiable homicide in self defense.

      1. Look. I hate hippies as much as anyone. But can’t we agree that getting pummeled was enough punishment for this urchin?

        1. I agree, if you go to the linked article, Mr. Cultural-appropriation-haircut has quite the shiner and a nice run of stitches. He seems… humbled by the experience.

          When your mayor is a former NBA star, I really recommend being more careful when you take a shot at them.

          1. Humbled, no way.

            https://youtu.be/PyDXx4ksVug

            He said he’s do it twice more given the opportunity.

            Was he hit hard enough or not hard enough?

            1. Ugh, this guy. Not hard enough by half.

            2. Maybe humbled is the wrong word. Perhaps he has received some lesson, buried under the whole thing:

              Thompson said he expected to be tackled by police but was caught off guard when the punches came from the mayor. He said he has no regrets but was surprised to be facing a felony, assaulting a public official.

              1. They should give him the chair.

        2. I’d have to see evidence that he learned something from the pummeling.

          1. You know as well as I that he learned absolutely nothing. I doubt further punishment at taxpayer expense will fix that.

            1. More mayoral punishment would have been better.

    2. Sometimes responding with violence is the appropriate response. Mr. Thompson will now think twice about his pie activism, and I hope if he tries it again, he meets another hail of fists.

      1. What a punch-face.

    3. The Pie Wielder – the next urban legend.

      1. More family-friendly than that pie-fucker guy in the 90s.

        1. Louie Anderson?

          1. Jason Biggs.

    4. The pie wielder and local activist, Sean Thompson, 32, said Thursday that the mayor overreacted, sending him to the hospital for nine stitches before he went to jail

      I might actually agree with the ‘critic’ if he simply wrote an editorial outlining his complaints.

      Instead, i’m like “Bitch YOU got punked”. You attack a guy in public (i don’t care if its a pie), you will get a reaction; and if that guy is a former professional athlete, you can be pretty sure he’s going to whoop your ass.

      ‘Overreacted’ – i see this claim all the time from millenials who’ll throw out some ridiculous claim, asserting that someone is racist or sexist or some other character defect… and when they get a full-blown, emphatic, logic-bomb retort, they’ll basically curl into a ball and insist that their former target is “Blowing things out of proportion” and is “being mean”.

      Its the most pussy form of passive-aggression, where you snipe and then play-possum and pretend you’re a victim. Obviously, its super-popular… god knows why. I guess it works in certain social circles.

      1. It’s easier to shoot a possum playing dead than a running one.

        We need to be shooting the dead ones to make sure they don’t get back up.

      2. Exactly this. I actually agree with Mr. Cultural Appropriation Haircut. The mayor is trying to get a stadium built on public money.

        There was a mayor here who had his face literally broken by an activist hitting him in the face with a megaphone. I have no love of any Seattle mayor since… well as far back as I remember. But that’s bullshit.

        A man struck the city’s mayor in the face with a megaphone during a community celebration on Saturday, breaking bones under his right eye, the authorities said.

        The mayor, Paul Schell, walked out of a hospital today with sunglasses covering a black eye. The police arrested a candidate for mayor who was protesting a killing.

      3. Oh, by the way, is this proof that cops had more restraint in the past?

        In 1988, Garrett was sentenced to 90 days in jail after grabbing a gun from a University of Washington police sergeant and pointing it at the officer’s head. That incident occurred during a demonstration against the university’s failure to rehire a popular black lecturer.

    5. Activists have weird targets. Kevin Johnson has been a decent mayor despite his focus on the basketball arena (he’s an NBA star; you get whom you vote for). Sacramento is a sleepy backwater of a city without many problems and not that hard to govern if you’re halfway competent — the most dangerous thing there is the state Legislature — but still.

      Maybe Mayor Johnson shouldn’t have pummeled the guy repeatedly — one punch from him probably would have gotten the point across — but that’s pretty much as far as I’m going to go to criticize. I think the charges should be dropped; you would be hard-pressed to find someone who would not react violently to being grabbed from behind, let alone have something thrown in the face.

  7. If Carroll’s bill is passed into law, New Jersey would have some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the country.

    Now, about those gun laws…..

    1. Oh, I can see the weed laws now: “You must have ‘justifiable need’ that a judge who doesn’t want to give you access to it gets to decide”.

      Hooray NJ logic! Wow, what an oxymoron.

    1. The glory of God beams of light are a nice touch. Very Kinkade-esque.

    2. “Ooh, is that a roll of $100s in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

      1. …is an example of the sort of tasteless joke which should never be told.

        1. I was hoping for the roll of $100s. Way to rain on my parade.

    3. I like how his head is way smaller than his right shoulder.

  8. RE: Common Sense Proposal Would Treat Marijuana Like Tobacco in New Jersey

    Common sense and The State have never been mutually inclusive.
    Why start now?

  9. Christie is in his second term and cannot seek re-election in 2017 due to term limits preventing a governor from serving more than two consecutive terms.

    New Jersey Democrat Chris Christie will never allow that kind of personal choice when he KNOWS it’s wrong.

  10. Thanks to this decision, I’ve decided *not* to publish my instructions for how to make a Venetian blind.

    1. Wait, that was supposed to be a comment on the Defense Distributed case.

      And the sad thing is I’ve grown bored of this joke so I probably won’t repost it on the proper thread.

  11. OK, so pot is going to be legal.

    So what currently-legal thing is going to be made illegal to make up for it?

  12. why aren’t there the equivalent of budtenders for tobacco?

  13. “Common Sense Proposal Would Treat Marijuana Like Tobacco in New Jersey”

    So does this mean that the places you could use pot would be further and further restricted regardless of the concept of private property and society would be encouraged by government and special interest propaganda to proverbially spit on you for using pot?

  14. Maybe cannabis cafes are a good idea to allow people to buy and consume somewhere else than in the streets

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