Marijuana legalization within in the state of New Jersey has small-town statist politicians enacting a loop hole that pushes and continues their prohibitionist agenda. Last year’s November election demonstrated that 67% of the Garden State’s residents supported legalization. It is now lawful for a person to carry up to an ounce of marijuana, recreational use may be consumed in a private residence and there are a few other permitted provisions within the latest bill as well. The legalization of this plant has made politicians with a personal interventionist slant very unhappy.
Those anti-liberty elected officials are using local town ordinances to stifle the cultivation and distribution of this plant. The state has given the local municipalities the decision to vote for or against growing and selling cannabis. If the local body votes this option down, they will close a 5-year window preventing any grower or distributor from operating within the given township. Governing bodies do have the ability to review and re-vote during the 5-year period with the option of overturning any previous vote.
The governor has created a Cannabis Regulatory Commission tasked with setting guidelines for everything marijuana in New Jersey. The battle cry from the local councils has been “we are waiting for guidance to come from Trenton and waiting for the New Jersey Cannabis Commission to lay some groundwork for the state.” The Governor’s Commission eventually did create their guidelines with incredible obstacles, which now have local “Reefer Madness” Republicans and others grabbing onto and using as their battle cry against this plant. Local bars throughout New Jersey are filled with politicians strategizing against cannabis, while enjoying a drink.
Liberty is liberty. There is no support of liberty if you actively prevent someone from participating in a non-violent act within their home because you “don’t like it.” Too many politicians, and especially at the local level, cry liberty but feign its actions when it doesn’t fit their tribal narrative. Tip O’Neil once said all politics are local. We are seeing at the local level prohibition being levied on towns through the backdoor, ignoring the will of the people. Be vigilant, identify and challenge when statist try to control you not so much from Washington but from the confines of your hometown.
Below is an example of what is going on in New Jersey in the borough of Oakland Bergen County.