A new poll shows that a majority of New Jersey voters believe people caught with small amounts of marijuana should pay a fine but not go to prison.
The Drug Policy Alliance’s poll of 600 registered voters found that 61 percent support making possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a civil matter.
Currently, marijuana possession in a criminal offense in New Jersey, with a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
Here are some of the best comments (some edited for space) from NJ.com readers:
As long as alcohol is celebrated in our society (such a deadly and potentially violent chemical), and powerful Rx medication is handed out like candy, I will never take anybody seriously when they argue that a plant that chills you out and mellows your nerves should be illegal.
What about the kids? Put your money where your mouth is and make alcohol illegal. High school kids die all the time from drinking and driving and alcohol poisoning.
Aren’t you frightened that the government supports a chemical that makes you dumb and contributes to long-term health consequences, but criminalizes a plant that makes you healthier and creative?
Expect an increase in pot-related violence and injuries both personal and vehicular. De-criminalizing a bad habit is not a solution. Everyone complains that the argument that pot is a gateway drug gets people up in arms, but the FACT is that people who do heroin and cocaine also did pot first for the most part.
I guess the argument for gun control and the legalization of pot have some similar characteristics.
Those who believe that gun control won’t work because criminals will always be able to get guns anyway would need to acknowledge that, even though pot is illegal, anyone can get it anyway.
Maybe if the people with guns got stoned they would be too mellow to want to shoot people. (Not seriously)
Another example of the continuing 43 year old failure of Richard Nixon’s trillion dollar and counting ‘war on drugs’. We’re built a self-sustaining government infrastructure that funnels our taxpayer dollars into the private prison system where states guarantee private prison operators 90% occupancy rates and police departments get government payoffs based on the volume of their drug arrests. This is the worst possible system for all but those who profit from it — the drug kingpins and the drug warriors — who are all one in the same.
Wizard of Blogs
Recreational Marijuana needs to legalized and tax for adults 21 or older. Regulate it like Tobacco and Alcohol.
Legal weed has been a boon to Washington and Colorado’s economies. While they are creating jobs and raising tax revenue, NJ is still wallowing with near 10% unemployment and trying to figure out how to plug the annual holes in our State Budget.
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