New Jersey Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Marijuana Legalization
Voters in New Jersey, where the state legislature allowed medical use of marijuana in 2010, today said the state should extend its tolerance to recreational use. With 58 percent of precincts reporting, more than two-thirds of voters favored Public Question 1, which amends the state constitution to allow the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of cannabis, but only after state legislators and regulators write specific rules.
New Jersey, the 11th most populous state, joins 11 other states that have legalized recreational use since 2012. It is the first mid-Atlantic state to legalize marijuana and the third on the East Coast to do so, along with Maine and Massachusetts.
New Jersey’s constitutional amendment, which takes effect on January 1, charges the state legislature and the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which also oversees the medical marijuana industry, with writing rules for growing, processing, selling, and possessing cannabis for recreational use. Legal consumption will be limited to adults 21 or older. Retail sales will be taxed at the standard state rate of 6.625 percent, although the legislature could allow municipalities to impose additional levies of no more than 2 percent.
Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, both Democrats, supported Question 1, which requires state legislators to approve rules they had struggled to pass on their own. In four polls conducted from mid-April to mid-October, Question 1 was favored by 64 percent of voters on average, similar to the election outcome and the results of national polls on marijuana legalization. Support
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