New Jersey lawmakers don't seem deterred by a top federal official's mission to reverse the tide of marijuana legalization nationwide.
Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions kicked off the new year by rescinding Obama-era policies that discouraged the federal government from interfering with how states enforce marijuana laws.
Though time will tell exactly how Sessions’ move will affect the legal status of pot across the country, the attorney general has opened the door for federal prosecutors to decide for themselves how to prioritize marijuana-related crimes in their individual jurisdictions, regardless of state or local legislation.
Meanwhile, Democratic New Jersey State Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced legislation this week that, if approved, would legalize recreational marijuana in the state, WHYY reports.
According to WHYY: "The legislation would permit possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of a marijuana infused product in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, and seven grams of concentrate, but would prohibit home cultivation and consuming marijuana openly."
Phil Murphy, who will be sworn in as the governor of New Jersey on Tuesday, said during his campaign that he aims to have pot legalized during his first 100 days in office.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in the Garden State has been projected to generate as much as $300 million in sales tax revenue for New Jersey.
On Jan. 1, dispensaries in California were allowed to sell recreational marijuana for the first time. California is the sixth state to allow the sale of recreational weed to adults after Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Alaska. Massachusetts will follow in July 2018.
California is projected to reach $7 billion in the coming years, eclipsing the nation’s entire legal cannabis market in 2016, which amounted to $6.6 billion.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are two of the more than half of U.S. states that have legalized medicinal marijuana for various conditions.