Sen. Sweeney: Recreational marijuana could be legal in New Jersey by 2018
Senate President Steve Sweeney says that the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey could be legal in the near future.
Sen. Sweeney recently returned from a legislative fact-finding trip to Colorado to learn more about recreational marijuana. Marijuana is legal in that state. Sweeney believes it could be regulated and taxed to benefit citizens of the Garden State.
"I think it's better than alcohol to be honest with you," he says. "And we've allowed that for a long time."
A recent Rutgers University poll found 58 percent of New Jerseyans are in favor of legalization.
"My first thought was that this could be a funding stream for early childhood education," Sweeney says.
Medical use of marijuana is currently legal in New Jersey, but Gov. Chris Christie has said he would veto any legislation to legalize recreational use.
Many law enforcement agencies and public health organizations agree with the governor and oppose legalization.
Christie's term is over in 2018, and Sweeney says that if Christie's successor supports legalization, laws can be changed.