By Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone
There is a very important
topic I would like to focus on this week.
As we all know, the majority of New Jersey residents last
fall voted in favor to legalize marijuana for use by adults at least 21 years
of age. There is no question, nor debate, on the outcome of the ballot
Democrats are Speaking Out Both Sides Of Their Mouths When It Comes to Protecting Children from Marijuana and Alcohol
By Senator Declan O’Scanlon. Jr
Two-faced. This is the word that first comes to mind when I try to describe to family and friends as to what happened with the recent passage of our marijuana laws here in New Jersey. After the abysmal failure of Trenton Democrats to garner enough support from their own members to pass sensible cannabis legislation, it was punted to the voters in a ballot question.
State Senator Declan O’Scanlon issued the following statement upon the passage of the Democrats legislation to regulate and tax marijuana sales in New Jersey:
“To be blunt, I had no choice but to vote no,” said O’Scanlon. “Over-taxation, over-regulation and over-complication. Trenton’s typical prescription to … just about every issue. This cannabis bill is a classic example. The public voted for a relatively simple policy – to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The referendum included specific, tax-limiting language, which is critical to the success of the policy.
Arturo Munoz, 25, of Elmhurst, NY was arrested for possession of marijuana in the Middletown Police Department parking lot on Saturday.
Munoz apparently didn’t get the memo that de Blasio doesn’t run Middletown. After parking next to a police vehicle Munoz told Patrolman Daniel Flannigan, who noted the strong odor of raw unburnt marijuana, that the drug was in his vehicle.
In the ill-fated recent rush to pass legislation that would legalize, tax, and regulate recreational adult use of marijuana, my position on the legislation, and the issue, has been misunderstood and mischaracterized by some New Jersey media outlets.
With regard to the bill package that Senate President Sweeney removed from the Senate calendar on March 25, I was a hard ‘NO’ vote. It has been reported that I was willing to trade my vote for funding for projects or causes specific to my Monmouth County district. It has also been reported that I was a “soft ‘yes’” vote. Those reports are fake news that were published by outlets that either did not speak with me or misunderstood/mischaracterized what I told them.
I want to firmly destroy and denounce these false, offensive assertions. Those that know me know I’m not for sale – not for personal gain and not for political-favor-purchasing bacon brought back to my district. Not once have I, and never will I, make such trade-offs. The only way to earn my vote is to give me good policy. Read the rest of this entry »
After hours of delays for last minute amendments which caused the suspension of testimony and debate a legislation that legalizes and establishes a regulatory structure of recreation marijuana passed the Assembly Appropriates Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday night, according to reports on Politico, InsiderNJ and NJGlobe.
Legislation to expunge marijuana convictions, including felony convictions for selling over 5 lbs of pot, passed the committees. The felony expungement provisions prompted a strong reaction from Republican Senators Kip Bateman (Somerset), Michael Doherty (Warren) and Gerald Cardinale (Bergen). Bateman said the bill contained “evil.” Doherty said that the bill is a “deal with the devil.” Cardinale suggested calling the bill, “the Drug Pusher’s Friend Act.”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden issued a statement today condemning the Trenton Democrats’ marijuana legislation as “poorly written policy by the Democratic majority” “that is aimed at grabbing tax dollars without any regard on the impacts on our local communities!”
Sheriff Golden, also the Monmouth County Republican Chairman, issued his statement in a email to Monmouth Republican elected officials and party leaders.
Golden said the legislation would allow more pots shops than coffee shops in New Jersey and does not provide for licensing of retail establishments or background checks of retailers by law enforcement officers, as liquor licenses require. He cited published reports that indicate that legal marijuana in other jurisdictions have increased minority arrests and incarceration and increased motor vehicle collisions and fatalities.
Middletown Mayor Tony Perry says that if recreational marijuana is to become legal in New Jersey, that its retail sale of should be regulated like alcohol is regulated…with municipalities selling licenses and conducting background checks on the sellers.
The legislation currently under consideration in Trenton, and reportedly agreed upon by Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin amounts to an unfunded burden upon local governments, Perry said in a letter to Buena Vista Mayor Chuck Chiarello, President of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, with copies sent to the 13th District legislators; Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywomen Amy Handlin and Serena DiMaso, as well as Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden and Freeholder Director Tom Arnone.