NJ Legislature still fumbling the legal weed bill (Opinion)
Monday, a deal on a final bill fell apart. After several years of bickering over how to make recreational marijuana legal, as many who voted for Phil Murphy had hoped, we still don't have a law. He is of the same party of both houses of the Legislature and still no agreement on how to decimalize the stuff. With the first several rounds of bills, there were disagreements on taxes and who would be licensed to sell it.
They couldn't agree on a bill that every one OF THE SAME PARTY could agree on, so they punted. They put it on the ballot as a constitutional referendum, and the public voted YES. Lawmakers involved in the process from the start have thrown up their hands. The latest stumbling block is how to penalize underage users.
The laws on marijuana have ruined or derailed the lives of many young people here and in other states for decades. Finally, we have a chance to end that nightmare, they just can't agree on how. They don't want to be too soft on underage users, as to not encourage them to flout the law, but not make the penalties too harsh as to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Just like underage drinking, the issue should be the concern of the minor's parents, this should be no different, but the state of New Jersey thinks they ARE the parents and are acting accordingly as they do in so many areas of our kids' lives.
In the meantime, if you want to buy weed, there's plenty out there. You used to have to go through a minor to find it in the shortest time frame. Now if you go into one of our cities in the state you can find it being sold in the back of many stores that offer other legal things. Sometimes you'll find a line around the block for the stuff, with no interference from law enforcement.
We are living in strange times, but once they come up with a final bill on this issue, everything will be fine....lol
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis's own.