Sun Editorial: Get your pot at 7-Eleven?

A new proposal by state lawmakers would regulate marijuana like cigarettes.

BY NEWS STAFF

Lawmakers in New Jersey are re-kindling talks to legalize recreational marijuana. But unlike proposals of the past, the latest one — courtesy Assemblyman Michael Carroll — would treat marijuana like cigarettes instead of alcohol.

Carroll’s proposal, which he proposed in late September, would regulate marijuana just like cigarettes. People would have to be 19 years old to purchase marijuana, and it could be purchased, potentially, at local convenience stores.

In Carroll’s own words to Politico: “To me, it’s already ubiquitous. Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to increase the availability of marijuana has never been 19. If that’s the case, then what’s a big deal about having it available at the local 7-Eleven?”

Such a proposal will likely get strong resistance from other legislators. Not even states such as Colorado and Washington, which have laws legalizing recreational marijuana use, go as far as selling it at convenience stores.

Most proposals that “experts” believe have a chance to pass here in New Jersey regulate marijuana like alcohol — you have to be 21 to purchase, and it’s only available at specialty stores.

The discussion is probably pointless for now, as Gov. Christie has repeatedly said he will veto any bill on his desk regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana. So while he’s still in office until January 2018, it’s unlikely any proposal would pass.

We can argue the minute points of Carroll’s proposal, and other similar ones, and while it may be all for naught now, it will set the stage for when the potential real fight for legalized recreational marijuana will begin — in 2018 or beyond, when a new governor sits at the helm of our state in Trenton.

Have something to say and want it in our newspaper and on our website? Send your “Letters to the Editor” to The Sun at news@mtlaurelsun.com along with a phone number so we can call and confirm publication.