Rutgers University experts are available to discuss an amendment to the state constitution that would legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults ages 21 and over. New Jersey voters will decide on this year’s election ballot as the state looks to join 11 others that have legalized it. Experts are available prior to and following the vote.
- Professor Lewis Nelson is a medical toxicologist, a professor and chair of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is also chief of service in the Emergency Department at University Hospital.
“Legalizing marijuana for recreational use could have serious personal, public health and increased healthcare utilization implications due to overconsumption and injury, child exposures and mental health consequences that are likely to occur,” said Nelson. “These need to be balanced against the potential positive economic and personal outcomes. Judging by the medical and social consequences that have occurred elsewhere following legalization and the marginal financial benefit this brings to New Jersey, the true value of legalization remains questionable. The very important benefit on social justice can be addressed administratively through other means, such as decriminalization, without opening a Pandora’s box of other social issues.”
- Ashley Koning, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.
“Marijuana legalization has had solid and widespread support among New Jerseyans in recent polling, which is a good indication that the constitutional amendment regarding legalization and regulation is likely to pass on Election Day. Especially given the devastating economic impact the pandemic has had on New Jersey, support may be fueled now more than ever by residents’ beliefs that the commodification of it will benefit the state‘s fiscal well-being.”
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