According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of New Jersians support allowing adults to legally possess “small amounts” of cannabis, with 38 percent opposed including 53 percent of Republicans. Seventy percent of Democrats favored legalization, along with 60 percent of independents, 62 percent of men and 56 percent of women.
The poll also found 55 percent of respondents said they would “definitely not try” cannabis if it were legalized for adult-use in the state; just 9 percent indicated they would “definitely try” it. Forty-six percent of respondents indicated cannabis and alcohol were “equally” as dangerous, yet 62 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34-years-old believed that cannabis was less harmful than alcohol. No majority believed that cannabis was more harmful than alcohol.
In May, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, who championed the state’s medical cannabis legislation, introduced S.3195 which, if approved, would legalize cannabis for adults 21-and-older and set up a taxed-and-regulated regime. Scutari indicated the advance introduction of the bill was in preparation for the new gubernatorial administration as Gov. Chris Christie has reached his the end of his term. The measure has been sent to the Scutari-chaired Judiciary Committee in the Senate. It is sponsored by Sens. Reed Gusciora, Tim Eustace, and James J. Kennedy in the House and referred to its Judiciary Committee.