Senate President Steve Sweeney says we could finally see a vote legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey as early as Oct 29th how about giving those people who had their lives and careers ruined by it a chance to profit from it. I'm talking about those who were arrested and convicted only of marijuana possession and marijuana related crimes? Once that happens who will be profiting from it? Hopefully not just the rich and connected. Those who "know somebody" why not let those who have criminal records only for marijuana participate? You've got to figure they know the product.

Dr David Nathan founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, a guest on my New Jersey 101.5 show says:

We've got to make sure that the bill is written right. I think the biggest hurdle is to make sure that there are enough social justice provisions, not simply because it's the right thing to do but it's also because the support from the bill that's going to be needed from Democratic legislators. They're going to demand for their districts that we make sure that there is some kind of diversity and equity in the industry so that the people who have been most affected by the drug war are not left out of the legal market once it's been established.

Ed Forchion known as the New Jersey "Weedman" who has spent time in New Jersey prison over marijuana is "totally opposed to this legalization bill for a number of reasons, one that it doesn't have home grow in it, and another is that I think it totally excludes people especially those who have been the victims of the current war on marijuana from this new market." Forchion continues, "They are creating this startup industry from the ground up and as the law is being written it's excluding people who are felons who have only been arrested for marijuana."

There are a number of reasons why I think those who have police records only for marijuana should be able to participate. First off, if they were only arrested for marijuana and marijuana is now legal, what's the problem? These people have paid their debt to society and may have had their lives ruined over something that is now legal for everybody, secondly who better to be involved in the marijuana business than someone who was so devoted to it that they risked their freedom over it. You've got to figure they know their weed. Why should this new marijuana industry coming to New Jersey be limited only to those who were smart enough not to get caught or to those who "know somebody."

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