NJ senator wants legalize marijuana to pay for roads - KMSP-TV

NJ senator wants legalize marijuana to pay for roads

Posted: Updated:
  • Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Starbucks employee warned to remove tattoo

    Starbucks employee warned to remove tattoo

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:42 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:42:43 GMT
    A barista at a Starbucks in Michigan has been told by her employer to remove the heart-shaped tattoo on her hand or resign. Kayla, 27, who only gave her first name, told a media outlet in Michigan that she's had the tattoo for five years and even had it when she was hired. The coffee company says she has 30 days to remove the ink or leave, for good. The tattoo, located above her thumb, is no bigger than a penny.
    A barista at a Starbucks in Michigan has been told by her employer to remove the heart-shaped tattoo on her hand or resign. Kayla, 27, who only gave her first name, told a media outlet in Michigan that she's had the tattoo for five years and even had it when she was hired. The coffee company says she has 30 days to remove the ink or leave, for good. The tattoo, located above her thumb, is no bigger than a penny.
  • Meet the Gerber Baby, 87 years later

    Meet the Gerber Baby, 87 years later

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-16 17:07:12 GMT
    The most famous face in baby food, the Gerber Baby, is now 87 years old -- and still smiling. She lives right here in Tampa and now had great-grandchildren of her own.
    The most famous face in baby food, the Gerber Baby, is now 87 years old -- and still smiling. She lives right here in Tampa and now had great-grandchildren of her own.
  • Heartbroken father asks Reddit users to design photos of daughter

    Heartbroken father asks Reddit users to design photos of daughter

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-07-15 20:48:39 GMT
    A devastated father turned to social media when his daughter passed away to help him grieve.
    A devastated father turned to social media when his daughter passed away to help him grieve.

By GEOFF MULVIHILL

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana, tax it and use the revenue to pay to fix the state's roads and bridges.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari announced his plan Monday, acknowledging that opposition from Gov. Chris Christie could seriously hinder it but pointing out, "He's not going to be governor forever."

Scutari, a Democrat, said allowing adults to legally buy marijuana to use recreationally would curb the drug sales-fueled crime that grips several New Jersey cities and reduce the number of people who get criminal records for pot possession. He also said regulators could ensure the safety of the pot people buy legally.

Part of his argument is also fiscal: It would save, he said, more than $100 million annually if police and courts didn't have to deal with marijuana as a crime. It also would bring more money into the state coffers through a 7 percent sales tax, he said. He did not know how much money legalization would generate but said he expects it to be more than $100 million annually.

Under Scutari's plan, which also is being introduced in the Assembly, 70 percent of the state's tax revenue from pot would go to a transportation fund. State officials have been wrestling with how to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

"As we've seen, trying to get a gasoline tax enacted in this state looks to be an even tougher measure," Scuatari said.

Twenty percent of the tax revenue would be earmarked for drug enforcement and demand reduction, and 10 percent would go toward women's health.

He said local governments would be able to further regulate — or ban — legal pot sales. But he said he's considering giving towns the ability to impose their own taxes on marijuana as a way to encourage them to allow it.

Scutari, a municipal prosecutor in Linden who said he has never used marijuana, said he does not expect his bill to be adopted quickly. He said it will get a public hearing within months if it is referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Marijuana legalization has picked up momentum across the country since both Colorado and Washington state voters last year approved constitutional amendments to allow adults to use pot. Seventeen other states have legislation pending, according to tracking by the Marijuana Policy Project.

New Jersey has had a medical marijuana program running since 2012, but the state's regulations are perhaps the most restrictive of those in any state that allows pot for patients.

Pro-pot activists have been protesting Gov. Chris Christie at his public events lately, and the governor has reaffirmed his opposition to allowing any adult to use marijuana. He addressed the issue at a town hall meeting this month in Flemington

"Here is what I will not do — I will not decriminalize marijuana, I will not permit recreational use and I will not legalize marijuana because I think it's is the wrong message to send to the children in this state and to young adults," Christie said.

He said he wants chronically ill patients who have a medical need for marijuana to have access to the drug, "but I do not want, and I will not permit it on my watch, to morph into state-sanctioned use of marijuana by people who do not have a legitimate medical need."

___

Associated Press reporter Angela Delli Santi in Flemington contributed to this report.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Maryland casino to interview workers from closing Atlantic City casinos

    Md. casino eyes workers from closing Atlantic City casinos

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:32:23 GMT
    AP photoAP photo
    A Maryland casino is looking to hire some of the soon-to-be-jobless Atlantic City casino workers. Maryland Live! is holding job fairs next week at the Sheraton hotel across from the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Hanover, Maryland casino held a similar recruitment effort in January when The Atlantic Club shut down.
    A Maryland casino is looking to hire some of the soon-to-be-jobless Atlantic City casino workers. Maryland Live! is holding job fairs next week at the Sheraton hotel across from the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Hanover, Maryland casino held a similar recruitment effort in January when The Atlantic Club shut down.
  • Jersey City swears in new firefighters

    Jersey City swears in new firefighters

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:09 GMT
    AP photoAP photo
    Jersey City has 26 new firefighters, including the city's first black woman to wear the uniform. Mayor Steven Fulop swore in the newest members of the department during a ceremony at City Hall on Friday. The city said the hiring was made possible by funds from a $6.9 million federal grant that was announced in January.
    Jersey City has 26 new firefighters, including the city's first black woman to wear the uniform. Mayor Steven Fulop swore in the newest members of the department during a ceremony at City Hall on Friday. The city said the hiring was made possible by funds from a $6.9 million federal grant that was announced in January.
  • Hot air balloon festival in New Jersey

    Hot air balloon festival in New Jersey

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:55:32 GMT

    The largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America is taking place in New Jersey.  The 32nd annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival takes place from Friday, July 25th to Sunday, July 27th in Readington. The festival features more than 100 hot air balloons from around the world.

    The largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America is taking place in New Jersey.  The 32nd annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival takes place from Friday, July 25th to Sunday, July 27th in Readington. The festival features more than 100 hot air balloons from around the world.

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices