Aren’t Republicans supposed to be the party of smaller government? Less restriction? The party that believes more in the people controlling their own destiny?

Why then is Republican Assemblyman Kevin Rooney seemingly ignoring that legalization of recreational marijuana was overwhelmingly approved by the people in a ballot question and instead trying to demonize weed?

Roughly 60% of voters said yes to legalization. The industry has barely started in New Jersey and Rooney is foolishly pitching the idea that all marijuana products including edibles, brownies, etc., must be kept locked up in people’s private homes.

He says this is due to children accidentally consuming things like edibles if they have access. Indeed there are a few thousand cases nationally per year of a young child accidentally consuming a marijuana product. Yes, they can become very ill. However, less than three months ago an article on confirmed “no overdose deaths have been reported in children due to edibles.”

Guess what? Over 4,000 deaths per year in the United States happen to people who are under drinking age. Some of those are due to alcohol poisoning and some of those are young children.

Does Rooney’s bill address that? Nope. Nor does it mandate parents lock up cigarettes or nicotine vapes or OxyContin or any other prescription drugs kids might get access to. Rooney admits it would be a doomed attempt in the Legislature.

Then why marijuana?

Virtue signaling from a guy who clearly wants to demonize weed. He’s never been a fan of legalization. That’s why.

And yet when he was on a committee that ultimately passed legalization in 2018 he didn’t even have the character to vote no. He merely abstained. The cowardly, gray area of politics.

Now for a guy who is so concerned about children accidentally getting their hands on things like edibles, it’s astounding that his legislation, A-4408, requires all people with legal marijuana products in their homes to keep them locked up. Yes, even when no children live there, visit there, etc. The bill mentions nothing of children. The law is intended to force everyone to lock away their marijuana like a dangerous weapon.

Ironic since he refused to support a bill that requires gun owners to keep their guns locked. In full disclosure, I agree with that position because that states they’d need to be locked and unloaded. Not much use in an emergency. I just don’t admire his hypocrisy here.

Hopefully, this bad law goes nowhere and he can slink back to his office and watch the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” on a loop.

Here's where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, with close to two dozen state approvals given since the first adult recreational sales in the state back in April. Here is where the open sites are located.

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