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Letter: NJ Should Follow CO, WA, Legalize Marijuana

A reader in Toms River writes that the outcome of ballot initiatives across the country this November signal that it's time to end marijuana prohibition.

Dear Editor,

It is very promising to learn that Colorado and Washington State legalized marijuana for all adults, as the result of voter referendums on Nov. 6. Recreational marijuana will now be controlled, taxed and regulated by those states in a a way similar to alcohol. Legitimate businesses will be licensed to sell marijuana.

New Jersey arrests approximately 25,000 people per year for marijuana offenses and has a (nearly) 10 percent unemployment rate. It is time that New Jersey legalizes marijuana all together to create jobs, reduce crime and lower taxes.

Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It is not addictive and no one has ever died from it. It is irrational to punish adults for using a substance safer than alcohol.

Just like alcohol prohibition, the prohibition of marijuana has not stopped its usage. But rather only moved the profits of its production and sale into underground markets and unfairly brands otherwise law-abiding adults with criminal records, limiting access to employment and education.

Marijuana legalization will give New Jersey more jobs, lower taxes and reduce crime. New Jersey, follow the lead of Colorado and Washington State by taxing and regulating marijuana for adults like alcohol!

Eric Hafner
Toms River, NJ

Have something to say? Email your letter to the editor to Davy James, davy.james@patch.com

Jeffrey Blumstein November 13, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Sign a petition to let states experiment with marijuana: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/suspend-now-enforcing-federal-marijuana-policy-states-colorado-and-washington/rWGZy0y6 Text of the petition: We propose that enforcement of federal marijuana regulations be suspended -temporarily- in the states of Colorado and Washington in order to allow time for these states to experiment with an alternative form of marijuana regulation. We are not petitioning for a change in federal regulation, and certainly not legalization, at this time. We feel that this is an appropriate middle ground for the federal government to take at this time, given that a sizable portion of the People support a similar form of regulation in addition to the people of the aforementioned states. (See http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/record-high-americans-favor-legalizing-marijuana.aspx)

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