TRENTON, N.J. – Marijuana was on the menu at the State House on Monday, but support for the controversial legislation remains remains precarious notwithstanding a deal struck between Democrat legislative leaders and Governor Phil Murphy.
Some complained about a lack of transparency.
“With minutes to go, Senate Republican members of the Judiciary Committee still haven’t seen a final copy of legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational use,” complained Kip Bateman (R-16). “Legalizing marijuana would have an enormous impact on all of our communities. Asking us to form an opinion without seeing the full details of the bill is an incredibly irresponsible way to govern.”
To make matters worst? The Senate committee refused to consider public testimony.
“I urge the sponsor to make the full details public before the vote, and give members of this committee the time they need to review this legislation, so that we can make a decision that is in the best interest of the people we were elected to serve,” added Bateman.
There’s criticism coming in from the Right and Left; some liberal activists complain the legislative deal (which includes a $42 per ounce tax) is anti-“social justice.”
Meanwhile, a growing host of New Jersey towns have opted to bar pot dispensaries from inside their boundaries.