The biggest opposer of marijuana in all forms has been Chris Christie, the Republican presidential candidate and Governor of New Jersey. However, members of the New Jersey senate hosted a hearing on Monday about passing a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal uses. reports that the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Legislature is making movements towards putting forth a law that would allow adults over the age of 21 to buy pot, whether they have a medical license or not. Similar to the laws in other states, smoking marijuana in public would remain illegal. Senator Nicholas Scutari wrote the bill and stated on Monday that legalizing and taxing marijuana would be a billion dollar industry that would be taken out of the black market.

CBS also noted that law enforcement officials, health professionals, clergy and other experts were in favor of legalizing
pot in New Jersey at the hearing in Trenton. Scutari has stated that getting a full marijuana industry running correctly would be quite the task. The bill he would like to pass is solely for gaining the tax benefits that states such as Colorado have seen after legalizing marijuana. However, Governor Christie has spoken out against legalizing marijuana because he believes it is a gateway to other more dangerous drugs:

“As a former federal prosecutor, I’ve been the most outspoken person in this race on this issue. I am completely, 100 percent opposed to drug legalization; that’s different than being for treatment.”

Although he is very opposed to legalizing marijuana, the presidential candidate strongly supports finding some sort of treatment for drug addicts and having some type of rehabilitation. In the past, he has supported bills that allow nonviolent drug addicts to receive therapy rather than go to prison.

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