Marijuana vote postponement a blow to the cannabis industry

26 Mars, 2019, 17:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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"Marijuana will get passed in the state of New Jersey one way or another".

A vote on a bill that would legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults was pulled after lawmakers were unable to rustle up enough support in the state Senate to get the bill through the Legislature.

"This fight is not over", New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement announcing that the bill lacked enough yes votes.

Some supporters who had considered making marijuana a public-ballot question, as has happened in at least a half-dozen states, said they were leery of that approach because Election Day turnout in November is expected to be low.

The state legislature is expected to schedule another vote in 2019, though it's uncertain when that might happen.

"What's really important is that the three leaders were together in this, and united in this and then moved forward together", Assembler Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, said at a press conference Monday afternoon, along with several Assembly sponsors of the different marijuana bills. It also sought to address the historical impact of mairjuana criminalization on minority communities and would have expunged some past marijuana-related criminal convictions.

Opponents declared the canceled vote a win and took credit for "flooded phones and email boxes" among lawmakers.

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The 176-page bill calls for an excise tax of $42 per ounce (in addition to normal sales tax) and sets up a five-member regulator commission.

The bill would also let towns that host retailers, growers, wholesalers and processors levy taxes as well, up to 3 percent in some cases.

Savino has voiced support for legalizing adult use in NY, citing in part the ability to snuff out the black market and the reality of legal markets already established in 10 other states and Washington D.C., therefore allowing NY residents to spend their taxable dollars elsewhere.

"There is no good reason for them to be forced to prolong their pain and suffering or to prolong the grief of their loved ones if they make that choice", Democratic state Sen.

Under earlier versions of the bill, the expungement provision covered people convicted of possession roughly 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana. Michael Doherty. The change appeared to permit felons, and not just low-level offenders, to qualify for expungement, he said.

Lawmakers said during hearings that while 5 pounds sounds like a lot, it's necessary to allow for an expedited expungement process because the statute covering possession for small amounts of cannabis goes up to 5 pounds.

The measure calls for an investigation on the influence of cannabis on driving and for funding drug-recognition experts for law enforcement.



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