Dear Editor,

It is great that Democrat Phil Murphy was elected Governor and cannabis is going to be legalized in New Jersey, but let’s make it work for everyone. There are some flaws in the current proposal, like the too-high age requirement and unfair home grow ban.

A suggested 21 age requirement is not based on science (in other states 21 was simply a marketing gimmick for ballot initiatives to regulate like alcohol), and unlike alcohol, Federal Highway Funds are NOT tied to a 21 marijuana age. Making pot legal while burdening 18-20 year olds with a serious adult drug conviction for possession, that will screw up things like student aid, housing, and jobs is wrong. The marijuana age should be no higher than 18, ideally 16, as cannabis is a safe substance that one cannot overdose on.

Also, it is crazy to say we will legalize cannabis, but not allow people to grow it at home. We’ve seen what a scam liquor licenses are in New Jersey, and the people don’t want to see a reefer business that is a similar monopoly. Let the people grow their own stone with legal home growing.

Also, does anyone remember Jon Peditto, the Ocean County personal pot grower who is still rotting in prison for 8 years? What about activist Edward Forchion aka NJ Weedman facing trumped up charges? Pardon them ASAP, let them go home, and end the injustice.


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Gov. Murphy must empower the poor, youth, women, and minorities to grow the industry using a non-profit collective ownership model, and ask the NAACP, ACLU, Coalition for Medical Marijuana NJ and Garden State Equality for advice on licensing and affirmative action.

Legal pot should mean jobs, business opportunity, and kush smoke for everyone, not just the rich, corporate, white, and male. The current dispensary owners all look like Tony Soprano and have political connections with the Christie Administration. We need a diverse cannabis marketplace for all.

Eric Hafner
Toms River, New Jersey

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...