Article by Jan Hefler, Philly News
With Gov. Christie’s surprising reversal on expanding the medical marijuana program comes a new batch of very different bills that would allow recreational cannabis in New Jersey.
Christie is not likely to change his strong opposition to legalization, even though he signed a bill last month allowing patients with post-traumatic stress syndrome to obtain cannabis. It was the first time a mental-health condition was added to the list of qualifying ailments.
But lawmakers say three legalization bills introduced this year would get discussions started, in anticipation of Christie’s term ending in 2018.
The newest proposal, introduced last month by Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R., Morris), would allow cannabis to be sold the same way as tobacco, to anyone over 19. Carroll, a Libertarian, admits the measure is bold and more “far-reaching” than other marijuana bills.
Though some media reports have said the bill would allow cannabis to be purchased in convenience stores, Carroll said his bill “simply legalizes the product, and doesn’t specify where it can be sold.” It also does not limit the amount. A companion bill has not been introduced in the state Senate.