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State Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-Newark). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Rice doesn’t want marijuana to move during lame duck session

Senator has long opposed legalization

By Nikita Biryukov, November 06 2019 12:59 pm

State Sen. Ron Rice doesn’t want lawmakers to take up marijuana legalization during the lame duck session.

“I have as much respect for corralling votes during lame duck sessions as I do for hunting wounded game birds. It seems rather opportunistic and predatory,” Rice said. “Because the practice doesn’t allow for proper debate and deliberation, it doesn’t show much respect for the citizens it impacts, and when the matter is as serious as legalizing marijuana in a state as densely populated and complicated as ours, the impact can be life-changing on all levels.”

The senator has been one of the stoutest opponents to marijuana legalization among the Democratic caucus and has often voiced that opposition publicly.

Legislative leaders are considering taking up marijuana legalization before new lawmakers are sworn in in January.

It’s unclear whether Democrats have the votes needed to pass a legalization bill.

“I’m looking forward to continued discussion about the benefits of decriminalization in the State House with legislators committed to governing with the wisdom of owls,” Rice says. “But first, we need to get past lame ducks and birds of prey.”

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3 thoughts on “Rice doesn’t want marijuana to move during lame duck session

  1. Over 31,000 people have been arrested this year for marijuana related incidents. I read that it’s one arrest every 14 minutes. That’s time money and resources spent on marijuana that could be spent elsewhere like the opioids epidemic deaths from fentanyl cocaine and domestic violence abuse. What’s even more troubling is that almost all the arrest for marijuana are of the users and not dealer and about $150 millions a year and about 1.5 billions in the last 10 years is wasted on the enforcement of marijuana. Ronald Rice and the politicians of New Jersey you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

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