According to polls New Jersey voters are expected to vote yes on a ballot question that will set up the legalization of recreational marijuana in our state. While I don’t use it myself, I voted yes. Here’s why.

Money

Whatever tax benefit there is, we can use it. No it’s not going to be enough to reduce property taxes to acceptable levels or take care of our transportation needs. But even a few hundred million at a time when Murphy and the legislature did an end run around the state constitution to borrow billions will be of help.

Justice

Even if some don’t like hearing it, people of color are busted and convicted on marijuana charges at a much higher rate than whites even though the usage rate is similar. People of any race carry marijuana convictions with them on criminal records throughout their lives when marijuana is less physically harmful than legal tobacco and legal alcohol.

Jobs

In 2017 there were an estimated 122,000 full-time jobs in legalized marijuana in the United States. New Jersey can certainly use more jobs.

Hypocrisy

We allow people to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol. Very few people die from marijuana compared to the tens of thousands who die every year from alcohol abuse and the nearly half million who die annually from smoking cigarettes in the United States.

Safety

You’re not going to cause any less marijuana use by keeping it illegal. It’s there. Anyone who wants it can get it, and sometimes what they’re getting is tainted with pesticides, laced with other drugs, etc.. It will be a regulated and safer product.

We should know very soon if the Garden State has approved or rejected legalized marijuana.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.