Pro-Marijuana Governors Elected in New Jersey and Virginia
Northam replaces Democrat Terry McAuliffe while Murphy replaces the infamous New Jersey Republican Chris Christie.
Murphy has stated he intends to sign a bill to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days in office. And while most states see the expected gold mine of tax revenue as the main benefit of legalized marijuana to the state, Murphy has a refreshingly opposite take on the matter.
The newly-elected Governor said that New Jersey has the highest gap in conviction rates for African-Americans when compared to whites for cannabis-related offenses in the whole nation.
“That is the reason we want to legalize marijuana—not because we can make money off of it. That’s the last reason,” Murphy said during a debate with challenger Kim Guadagno.
It may be the last reason but Murphy has said he would impose three new taxes to help pay for some of the initiatives in his agenda and the sales tax from legal weed is one of them. The tax revenue generated from cannabis will help fund education programs and the public worker pensions.
Meanwhile Northam supports marijuana legalization in Virginia because of what he describes as major racial disparity in the state’s marijuana possession rates. As a former physician, Northam also appreciates the medicinal value of marijuana. He stated that he is “increasingly convinced by the data showing potential health benefits of marijuana, such as pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy and treatment for PTSD.”
Marijuana reform got a dose of good news for these two states that were among the original thirteen colonies. They led the way towards independence from England and now they are among the states that lead the way towards legalization.