nicholas scutari

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New Jersey: Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Set To Be Unveiled

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A New Jersey lawmaker will unveil legislation on Monday that would legalize, tax, and regulate recreational marijuana in the state.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) plans to formally announce the Democratic-sponsored measure at a noon news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton.

If the bill becomes law, New Jersey will be the ninth state to legalize adult-use, recreational marijuana, joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

"The national trend is toward legalization," Scutari told NJ Advance Media on Friday. "It's absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway."

The bill will need to be passed by both houses of the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and signed by the governor to be enacted.

Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, strongly opposes marijuana, arguing that it's a "gateway drug" that can lead users to try harder substances.

Earlier this month, he said that Democrats who want to pass such legislation are willing to "poison our kids" to receive "blood money" from the tax money it will bring in.

"This is beyond stupidity," he said during a speech in Princeton.

New Jersey: Scutari Pushes For Marijuana Legalization Despite Resistance From Governor Christie

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New Jersey Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-22) has just returned from a trip to Colorado where he toured the state's dispensaries and consulted with state officials on the rollout of their legalization effort. He hopes to get New Jersey to follow in that state's footsteps despite resistance from Governor Chris Christie on the issue.

Scutari spoke at a State House press conference, saying that he expects he will be able to draft a comprehensive bill and rally support for the measure before the end of this session. He said that he has been in touch with certain of the Democratic frontrunners in the race to succeed Christie in 2017.

“You’re going to have a new administration next year,” Scutari said. “And we’re going to see which one and what they’re going to do with it. I know that Mr. Murphy has already indicated publicly that he would sign a legalization. I know that no one has talked negatively about it."

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) have said they would consider legalization while Jersey City Steve Fulop has not taken a position.

New Jersey: Senate To Hold First-Ever Hearing On Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients

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New Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections

Advocates Applaud Legislation and Declare that Legislature Did Not Intend For Patients To Lose Jobs For Using Legal Medical Marijuana

The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21 at 1 p.m., in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1.

The legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).

Advocates applaud the bill. “Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey are in a state of limbo and fear,” said Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “They fear being fired from their jobs for using medical marijuana even though it is legal under New Jersey law. No individual and no family should be punished for following their doctor’s order and the laws of their state.”

New Jersey: Legislature To Hold First-Ever Hearing On Marijuana Legalization

NewJerseyToLegalize?[TheDailyChronic]

More Than 20,000 People Are Arrested for Marijuana Possession in New Jersey Every Year

Advocates Applaud Hearing and Call for Common-Sense and Popular Marijuana Reform

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, November 16 will hold the first-ever hearing on marijuana legalization in New Jersey.

The committee will hear invited testimony on how New Jersey could legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults and how this has worked in the other states that have legalized marijuana. Senator Nicholas Scutari, chair of the committee, has also introduced legislation to legalize marijuana.

“The Drug Policy Alliance supports taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol for adults and thanks the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for taking testimony on this issue," said Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey state director of Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "The criminalization of marijuana is costly, unfair and compromises public safety.

"New Jersey wastes more than $125 million dollars a year arresting people for marijuana possession," Scotti said. "This absurd policy criminalizes otherwise law-abiding citizens and wastes law enforcement resources that would be better spent on serious public safety issues.”

New Jersey: New Poll Finds Majority Support For Legalizing Marijuana

NewJerseyToLegalize?[TheDailyChronic]

Findings Mirror Growing Support for Legalization Across the Country

Advocates Say That Taxing and Regulating Marijuana Reduce Injustices of Marijuana Arrests and Generate Millions of Dollars in Tax Revenue for Projects to Benefit All New Jerseyans

A significant majority of New Jerseyans expressed for support for legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana in a Rutgers-Eagleton poll. The poll was conducted in partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance.

The poll found that 58 percent of New Jersey residents support legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana like alcohol for adults 21 and over. Those surveyed were most persuaded to support marijuana legalization and regulation as a result of New Jersey’s costly marijuana laws.

New Jersey wastes more than $125 million a year arresting people for marijuana possession. This absurd policy criminalizes otherwise law-abiding citizens and wastes law enforcement resources that would be better spent on serious crime and public safety issues.

"Support for legalization in New Jersey is growing, which mirrors national polls,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers University. "By asking a question that makes clear legalization for adults 21 and over would come with taxes and regulation, we provided context that may account for some of the 9-point jump in support from our April 2014 poll.

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