TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey could be the next state to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational use if one lawmaker has his way.
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari announced plans to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that would make pot legal to anyone aged 21 and over in the Garden State.
“It’s time that we legalize marijuana here in New Jersey,” Scutari told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
Scutari said Friday his plan would create needed tax revenues and allow police to focus on enforcing other crimes.
“Legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana will generate revenue in the state while saving millions of dollars spent each year on law enforcement,” he added.
The Democratic senator from Linden said he expects his proposal to be greeted with skepticism from Gov. Chris Christie and some lawmakers.
But Scutari says he wants to open a dialogue on the issue.
Voters in Colorado and Washington have made recreational cannabis legal in their states starting this year.
“And has not had the dire results that critics have predicted,” said Scutari.
Lawmakers in New York have also called for legalized pot.
New Jersey already allows medical marijuana but only under tight restrictions.
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