New Jersey and Michigan are the most recent states to take the leap into marijuana. As the industry shifts toward the future, marijuana is rapidly changing. As more and more states continue to legalize the use of cannabis, it is becoming more and more evident that the public support for the substance is at an all-time high.
The Case for New Jersey
New Jersey is one of the states that the public have been waiting to see marijuana legalization occur. The state as of Monday, November 26th decided that they would allow the use of possession and consumption of cannabis. Committees from the state Senate and Assembly stated that they would be voting in favor of the new bill. The bill is now awaiting approval by the state legislature which could potentially put it into law. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has stated that he has yet to give a public opinion on whether or not weed should be legalized but that he’s looking forward to the future.
The vote, which passed with a 7-4 majority by the Senate budget committee and a 7-2 from the Assembly budget panel seems to be flying through the government with a massive amount of propensity. This bill is the first time that the state has taken action on the issue of marijuana since Murphy took office at the beginning of the year. This also marks the furthest that a marijuana-related bill has gotten throughout the states history which is very promising news.
Sen. Nicholas Scutari stated that “this process has been a long one.” The positive sentiment for the legalization has been overwhelming from some sides of the government while those who are opposed have been the minority. One of the issues that the two parties agree on is that the bill needs work before it can be passed into law. There are still several factors to iron out before any law can be put into place such as the vagueness of the bills current state. Dianna Houenou, a senior policy advisor stated that “they’ve made good progress, but there are still changes that need to be made.” As the state continues to move in a positive direction, it will be exciting to see what occurs in the months to come.
The Case for Michigan
After the mid-term elections, Michigan’s vote showed a highly positive new road for the world of cannabis. The new law won’t take effect until the beginning of December, but state legislators are beginning to dismiss low-level marijuana related crimes. Since cannabis possession and use to an extent will no longer be illegal throughout the state, many of the crimes are expected to be absolved. Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy stated that “Now that Proposal 1 has passed, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to following the law regarding the prosecution of marijuana cases. Overwhelmingly, the smaller marijuana cases are prosecuted by city attorneys. However, we currently have ticketed ordinance violations from the Michigan State Police that are pending review.”
Changes like these are extremely important in terms of the proliferation of the industry as they show a new level of innocence and forgiveness for those who have been criminalized by the substance in prior times. The new law is a huge relief for the state as the public has seen their support go from thoughts into action. 58% of the state voted in favor of the new bill which was the reason for its passing and the new state industry could become one of the larger in the continental U.S.