On his 1,133rd day in office, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to implement marijuana commercialization into law.
Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and its New Jersey affiliate, New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP), released the following statement in response:
“We’ve fought against an extremely well-funded legalization effort and made sure that if the marijuana industry was going to expand into New Jersey, it was going to have to fight tooth and nail for it. I am proud to say we turned Governor Murphy’s pledge to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days into a 1,000+ day fight.
“We think the rules in this bill surrounding underage use are a paper tiger that will result in very little positive movement in stopping the ongoing trend of increases in youth marijuana use in ‘legal’ states — especially the concerning rise of young people using high potency forms of the substance. Not only does this bill take a hands-off approach to underage marijuana use, but it also lowers penalties for underage use of alcohol and only requires parental notification for repeat offenders. In short, this bill is nothing more than a slap in the face to the public health community.
“Moving forward, we will continue to elevate the voices of those who are harmed by this industry in New Jersey and elsewhere. We will also continue to monitor data on the impact of commercialization in New Jersey and work to implement evidence-based regulations on the industry.”