September 12, 2018, New Jersey
An Interesting poll has been held in New Jersey regarding the legalization of cannabis. The surveyors first asked the simple question to New Jerseyans that did they support the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the state. 44 percent of respondents supported the ideas of legalization while 31 percent opposed it. The remaining respondents didn’t give a definite yes/no to the question.
However, when the surveyors asked the similar question with a slight twist, the response was quite different. The respondents were then asked would they support the legalization of recreational marijuana if it entailed the reduction of property taxes. 53 percent respondents supported this conditional legalization while the opposition to the legalization dropped to 24 percent. The survey results show that conscience is not the only thing that drives people’s opinion on cannabis, monetary implications also play a key role.
The survey was commissioned by a cannabis edible manufacturer Nuka Enterprises. The survey was conducted in August among the cohort of 1500 registered voters of the state. It is important to note that the former Governor James Florio is now also the part of the company’s advisory board. Florio is a prominent voice in the state for the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
The status of legalization in New Jersey
After the gubernatorial transition in the Garden State, the progress on legalization has surely been picked up. Cannabis reforms were one of the recurrent topics in the speeches of incumbent Governor Phil Murphy during the election campaign. After assuming the office, Murphy has said it time and again that he wants the legalization of cannabis to be materialized by the end of this year.
It is important to note that New Jersey has taken the route of legislative legalization instead of going for a public ballot. The state lawmakers are currently working on the legalization bill that would also include the provisions regarding the taxation of the industry. However, no such suggestion is under consideration that would link tax reliefs elsewhere to the legalization of the recreational cannabis.
When Murphy assumed the office, he was expecting the legalization of cannabis within 100 days of his term. Therefore, he estimated the revenue of $60 million from the medical and recreational sales of marijuana to be added to the budget. However, the state succeeded in collecting only $20 million dollars that too from the legal MMJ operations of the state.
Steve Sweeney, a Democratic lawmaker and the president of New Jersey Senate, is well aware of the responsibility of the legislature for legalizing the adult-use of the strain. He along with the speaker of the Senate is determined to have the final draft of the legalization bill by the end of next month.
The review and approval from both houses of the legislature and the ratification from the Governor will also take a couple of months more. So, the residents of the garden state can expect the promulgation of the adult-use marijuana program from next year.