Marijuana Legislation Inches Ahead Despite Christie Warning

Article by Michael Catalini, Associated Press via Washington Times

Chris Christie

Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s warning to the Democrat-led Legislature not to move forward with legalizing marijuana is going mostly unheeded.

Christie, a longtime opponent of legalizing the recreational use of the drug, cautioned lawmakers in an impassioned State of the State address aimed at battling the opioid epidemic.

But as the governor charges full-steam ahead with a program to battle drug addiction that got a warm reception from Democratic leaders, he’s getting pushback when it comes to marijuana.

“He couldn’t have been more off the mark with that portion of his speech,” said Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, a top proponent of legalization.

The issue comes to the fore has some are hoping New Jersey will soon join the four states – California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada – that approved marijuana legalization this year, while four others – Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota – voted to establish medical marijuana programs.

New Jersey already has a tightly regulated medical marijuana program that includes six alternative treatment centers, or dispensaries, but the issue has largely stalled because of Christie’s opposition.

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