New Jersey's 30th Legislative District

Senator Robert Singer

Senator Bob Singer

Singer: Murphy’s Marijuana Legalization Rhetoric Goes Up in Smoke When You Follow the Money

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Senator Robert Singer said it’s clear when you follow the money that Governor Phil Murphy’s interest in marijuana legalization has little to do with improving social justice.

Sen. Robert Singer said it certainly appears that money is the primary concern driving marijuana legislation in New Jersey. (Pixabay)

“If improving social justice was truly the Governor’s goal, he could have supported the legislation that I sponsor with Senator Rice to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana,” said Singer (R-Monmouth). “That would prevent both arrests and incarceration, solving the social justice problem for most people. We could have done that a year ago. The fact that Governor Murphy never truly considered decriminalization tells you that money, not social justice, is the driving force behind the movement to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey.”

The Rice/Singer legislation, S-1926, would decriminalize the possession of ten grams or less of marijuana and personal-use amounts of regulated marijuana-infused products.

In contrast, the “New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act,” which advanced from Senate and Assembly committees yesterday, creates a large bureaucratic framework to regulate the sale and taxation of marijuana for recreational use.

Similarly, legislation which advanced yesterday to update the state’s medical marijuana program includes a prolonged five-year phase out of the state sales tax on medical marijuana.

“Legislative committees passed a bill to levy a 14 percent tax on recreational marijuana, which the Governor is fighting to be 25 percent, but we’re still supposed to believe it’s not about the money,” added Singer. “And why is marijuana the only prescription that’s subject to the sales tax? If it’s not about the money, we should eliminate the tax on medical marijuana today, not five years from now.  It certainly appears that money is the primary concern driving marijuana legislation in New Jersey.”

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