TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on a vow to fully legalize marijuana but even with his own Democratic party in control of the state house it’s not a done deal.
Medical marijuana has been allowed in the Garden State since 2010.
But Hoboken Democratic Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro said Tuesday that she’s on the fence about allowing recreational use, citing concerns about the impact on young people.
She spoke at a conference held by the pro-marijuana group New Jersey Cannabusiness Association, which hosted leaders from both parties in Trenton.
In states where recreational marijuana is legal, the group’s president Scott Rudder said, “We’re actually seeing a decline on teenage use. We’re seeing a decline on opioid overdoses. We’re also seeing a decline in alcohol consumption.”
He also pointed to lessons already learned from states where recreational marijuana is allowed.
“Initially when Colorado first rolled out they rolled out with some candies and some edibles that looked very enticing. What they learned through that process is things to be marked, things need to be childproof,” Rudder said.
He believes the key is a well-regulated market for adults only and he’s confident enough lawmakers will be won over.
“We have the science, we have the statistics, and so it’s really getting to those folks who just need the information,” Rudder said. “It’s really going to come down to education.”