40 Days Till Election Day
A state Constitution amendment to smoke pot?
Yes! The NJ Legislature is using the state constitution amendment process to impose their harmful, dangerous, self-profiting agenda.
The ballot question is as follows:
“CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA. Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis”? Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The State commission created to oversee the State’s medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market.
The Center for Garden State Families opposes the recreational use of marijuana.
Marijuana and New Jersey
The Cost is Too High
The push to make marijuana legal is sweeping the nation and New Jersey’s Democrat Governor Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney want to jump on board. Billing it as a potentially giant revenue maker for New Jersey, they’re pushing to pass legalization this legislative session.
Unfortunately, the windfall they claim will occur is only a dream. Moody’s Investors Service examined the results of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, two states that legalized recreational marijuana early and have the most established industries.
It found that legalizing recreational marijuana produced only “limited” tax revenues, with little of that money flowing to the state’s or cities’ general funds. The report found that while revenues grew rapidly, they only make up a relatively small share of state general fund revenues and “therefore provide only modest budget relief.”
Colorado’s gross revenues from recreational and medical marijuana sales in fiscal 2017 totaled only 2 percent of total general fund revenues. Washington’s revenue for the two-year period beginning in 2015 equaled only 1.2 percent of general fund revenues, the report found.
Moody’s also notes that in Colorado, almost half of revenue generated from marijuana went to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund where it was used for marijuana-related programs such as enforcement, regulation, prevention and substance abuse programs. Only about 5 percent was directed to the general fund, representing only 0.1 percent of state general fund revenues.
When reviewing the District of Columbia and the nine states that have legalized recreational marijuana, the credit agency states there is “a marginal credit positive” to legalization; a far cry from the large revenue being suggested by proponents in New Jersey, a state that’s seen its fair share of financial misjudgments and disarray.
The report also notes that while growth in state and local government marijuana revenue has been strong in the early years, “the growth is likely to slow.” “Markets in the states that legalized early are already showing signs of stabilizing,” Moody’s said. “Also, as more states legalize recreational marijuana, states will face increased competition from their neighbors.”
New Jersey has suffered the same affect from the legalization of gambling in adjacent states. The state has bailed out the city of Atlantic City, hotels and casinos in the last decade, while suffering the loss of thousands of jobs.
Phil Murphy wants a 25% tax on pot. The NJ General Assembly is resistant to the 25% rate the Governor wants. Sweeney is struggling with gathering the minimum 21 votes to pass in the state senate.
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