New Jersey may soon become the 11th state in the US to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, and has already introduced a legislative bill to this effect. Now if they could just lift their economy out of the recession it has been in for decades because of its anti-business policies that would be something to write home about.
The 166-page “Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization” bill has numerous innovative provisions that will favor the cannabis market.
These include setting aside 25% of the licenses for the minority communities, legalization of weed lounges, and automatically dropping the charges against people who have been arrested for cannabis possession recently.
One of the most important provisions in the bill is the legalization of home delivery systems of cannabis. Let us take a deeper look into this issue.
The Proposed Legal Provisions
Parts of Colorado, California (which leads the country in homelessness and lost the Raiders), and Oregon already have home delivery systems of cannabis. Building upon their experience, the New Jersey bill, which will be voted upon in late December or early January, seeks to allow home delivery of recreational marijuana to adults above 21 years of age.
A real “physical address” would be essential to avail of the home delivery services. This means that cannabis products would not be delivered to a desolate parking space, or a cornfield.
Retailers and licensed dispensaries would be overseeing the entire operation. It will be their duty to ensure that the drivers are above 18 years of age and that the consumers are above 21 years of age.
An unmanned vehicle would not be allowed to be used as a delivery vehicle. Use of markings on delivery vehicles to signify they are carrying marijuana would not be permitted.
All such delivery vehicles would also have to be equipped with GPS tracking. The products would have to be carried in the delivery vehicle’s storage bed only.
Supporters and Critics of the Proposal
Chris Goldstein, who works with the pro-cannabis group NORML, was one of the first activists to suggest home delivery systems. According to Goldstein, the delivery systems can use a smartphone app, making it easier for people to access cannabis products.
Assemblyman Jamel Holly said that the system already works well in California and is adding millions of dollars in revenues to the state treasury but the state is losing billions because they continue to maintain a lavish public assistance policy which pushes more taxes on the people who choose to work for a living but let’s get back on topic. According to Holly, the system also provides an answer to those critics who argue that cannabis addicts would drive cars while being high.
Senator Scutari has argued that there are already similar home delivery programs for alcohol. According to him, it would be easier to track the cannabis usage through the use of home delivery systems. He adds that it would also bring new jobs to New Jersey.
Critics of cannabis home delivery systems, on the other hand have termed the move as “highly ambitious”. They say that the home delivery system is a step too far and sends a wrong message to children.
Allowing such programs, they argue, will lead to illegal use and higher addiction rates and will ultimately prove to be detrimental to society. This argument is weak though because marijuana is not addictive like alcohol and no drug has inflicted more harm on society than the legal drug of alcohol.
The Big Picture
Despite the expected reluctance from some individuals and groups, it is amply clear that the general trends increasingly favor the acceptance of marijuana in society.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the New Jersey bill seeks to approve cannabis home delivery systems. While political analysts believe that the vote would be close, it is not difficult to see that a stable home delivery program with adequate safeguards and oversight is the need of the hour.
Though this will not attract people to move to this state. New Jersey is another state that is losing people to low tax states such as Texas and Florida.