Governor Christie refuses to legalize marijuana because it's a "gateway" drug. Last week, that "gateway" led to a farm in Bucks County where 20 year old Cosmo DiNardo drove Thomas C. Meo and Mark R Sturgiss to sell them weed. Waiting there was Dinardo's cousin Sean Kratz. What they got was shot. Meo was also run over and crushed by a backhoe driven by Dinardo who had run out of ammunition. Their bodies were dumped into an oil tank which held the body of another victim Dean A. Finocchairo, a fourth victim. Jimi Taro Patrick was killed days earlier and buried about a half mile away.

Marijuana seems to be the only reason these victims were brought to their murderer. If this isn't the best reason to legalize pot, then I don't know what is. These were just young men trying to score some weed from someone they knew who lived on his parents farm and ended up dead. How many other people are forced to put themselves in dangerous situations with criminal elements and psychopaths simply because they have the desire to get high or a medical need.

Whether marijuana is or is not a gateway drug is irrelevant. We're not asking our parents permission to smoke weed, we're asking our government to keep us out of situations like these four men just faced. We're also asking our government to give us a way to alleviate our taxes and stop ruining the lives of otherwise innocent people who have to carry a marijuana conviction on their record.

If marijuana were legal in New Jersey, perhaps Thomas C. Meo, Mark R. Sturgiss, Jimi Taro Patrick, and Dean A. Finocchiaro would be alive since all they would have had to do is make a short drive to New Jersey. How many people from New Jersey are putting themselves in danger everyday to buy something that more and more states are making legal. Remember when we used to be cutting edge?

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