Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today issued the following statement on marijuana decriminalization:
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon stated that the Legislature should actively pursue reasonable, comprehensive reforms to New Jersey’s marijuana possession laws. (Pixabay)
“I firmly believe that we should actively pursue reasonable, comprehensive reforms to our marijuana possession laws. Decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana should be at the top of our priority list.
“Reasonable people can agree that individuals in possession of small amounts of marijuana shouldn’t face arrests and a lifetime of compromised opportunity and productivity. Such harsh, disproportionate penalties don’t just hurt individuals, they cost our entire society in lost productivity and potential. These particular disproportionate penalties facilitate the squandering of hundreds of millions of dollars in precious law enforcement and drug treatment resources. This must stop. Layering on the indisputable fact of the racial disparities that seem to permeate enforcement of these laws and the moral imperative that we act quickly is resounding.
“Make no mistake though, people who are in possession of larger amounts with intent to sell should still face appropriate, proportionate penalties. Those selling to minors should face penalties an order of magnitude higher.”