Editorial

EDITORIAL: How Legalized Weed Usage Benefits Us All

By Amaya Morales

Managing Editor

Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in New Jersey under the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act.

This act allows residents or visitors, aged 21 or older, to legally purchase up to one ounce of marijuana at one of 13 licensed locations in New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy signed this act into law on Feb. 21, 2022. 

It was not until April 21 that legal marijuana sales began, the day after the unofficial “4/20” holiday, nj.com reports.

In addition to selling for recreational purposes, these approved centers can also sell up to three ounces for medical usage.

However, these licensed locations are the only places to legally purchase weed to both markets in New Jersey, until smaller companies are approved to sell.

Benefits of Weed Legalization

There are benefits to New Jersey legalizing weed, NorthJersey.com reports.

As a result of COVID-19, the workforce in New Jersey was devastated. However, the state has regained 56% of the jobs that were lost. In addition, there are now over 2,600 legal cannabis jobs across the state, helping employment recovery.

Secondly, the legalization has also decriminalized weed. New Jersey ranks as one of the top three states with the highest cannabis arrest rates. In 2017, New Jersey police made almost 38,000 arrests for marijuana possession and/or distribution, which equated to 95 arrests per day. On average,  Black people in New Jersey were also 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for possession of weed than white people.

Many Positives to Come

Residents of New Jersey can now purchase and use weed recreationally.

Marijuana will no longer be criminalized, reducing arrest rates across the state.  The legalization has also positively affected the job market.

Still, this is only the beginning of a long journey.

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Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in New Jersey.

Art by Kayoneil Wilson

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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