New bill could legalize home-grown marijuana in New Jersey

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Growing marijuana at home could become legal in New Jersey if a new proposal is passed.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora introduced a bill that would allow a single household to grow up to 12 marijuana plants if recreational marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey.

“There has been a good experience with home growing,” Gusciora says. “This is not something someone is going to grow in their yard. It will be indoors and a limited amount.”

The bill would also cap the total number of marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey to 80. This is in contrast to Colorado, which allows unlimited dispensaries. Gusciora says that an unlimited cap has allowed corporate interests to take root.

“The Walmarts of marijuana distributors are undercutting the mom and pops,” he says.

The assemblyman’s bill would need to be combined with the New Jersey Senate’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana before any vote can go forward. Legislators would also have to work out licensing agreements.

But not all lawmakers or local governments are in favor of the plan to legalize the substance.

Old Bridge Township may become the latest municipality to ban the sale of recreational marijuana ahead of any new state law.

Public opinion among New Jerseyans also seems to be split.

“What about the kids?” asks Old Bridge resident Patricia Nevarez. “I don’t think it’s fine.”

“They should not use it while driving or at work. But socially, yes, I guess it’s fine,” says Shadee Alafhash of Old Bridge.

Other towns in the state, including Asbury Park and Jersey City, have indicated that they would welcome a marijuana dispensary.

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