N.J. Bill Would Expand Medical, Legalize Recreational Marijuana

June 08, 2018 - 6:02 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A new bill in the New Jersey Senate would put both medical and recreational marijuana on a level playing field.

As WCBS 880's Steve Burns reported, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) is introducing a single bill that expands the state’s medical marijuana program and legalizes recreational marijuana use.

“We're essentially talking about the same product, with the same exact plant material, with the same type of same regulatory scheme,” Scutari said.

He said putting them in the same bill will force his colleagues to take a side on legalization, since most are already in favor of medicinal expansion.

However, state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Woodbridge) does not see it that way.

"It doesn’t make sense to me. You know, those are two very distinct issues. The only thing that they – both those issues have in common is cannabis,” Vitale said, “but beyond that, they take a significant detour from one another.”

Vitale said medical and recreational marijuana each need different sets of rules. Scutari called that reasoning a copout.