For some folks, the revenue aspects of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana just aren’t good enough to justify its legalization.

Just ask Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini of Monmouth County.

In response to the announcement made the other day in Newark of a group called New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform - she’s looking to start a group that shares her viewpoint that health and incarceration statistics about marijuana users should be considered, along with questions about additional costs that might be incurred as a result of legalization.

She bring us the point that while the state’s alcohol tax brings in revenue – that stat is countered by law enforcement and healthcare costs associated with the use of alcohol.

While the overwhelming sentiment has been for the drug’s legalization, it looks like she may have an ally in the fight in one commenter to the Courier Post this past week.

The writer is responding to a column written by the Courier Post’s Jim Walsh’s and asks questions like how is it that advocates for legalization think it’s a way to generate revenue and create jobs?

The writer goes on to say that a couple of the reasons crime is committed is over money and drugs - then goes on to delineate some of the costs associated with legal substances such as alcohol and cigarettes.

First, haven’t we learned our lesson? Do the costs spent on the ramifications of alcohol and cigarettes outweigh the benefit? The answer is a resounding “yes.”
Health insurance, automobile insurance, liability coverages for a restaurant serving alcohol. How much money is spent on cancer? Alcohol is another tragedy. How many families have had their lives destroyed due to alcohol? This needs to stop.

Further down in the article, the writer’s agenda is clear. He saw his son graduate from smoking pot to eventually overdosing on heroin – discrediting anyone who thinks marijuana isn’t a gateway drug.

To this I say, what good has the continued prohibition of marijuana done? Much like prohibition of alcohol in the 20s; it's done very little but prove that the war on drugs is a colossal failure - and wastes taxpayer money.

Plus, it makes criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Burdens police and prosecutors alike with having to arrest and prosecute those who choose to smoke or are found to have the drug on them.

Yes, there may be costs associated with the continued consumption of alcohol, cigarettes – and marijuana.

But is the answer Angelini and the writer, who’s from Glendora, a complete prohibition of anything considered bad for us – and possibly cost prohibitive to society?

Regulate it and tax it – and just as you’d be warned to do with other “gateway drugs” like prescriptions or liquor – keep it away from the kids.

Do you agree with Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini that pot should never be legalized?