More officials are uniting forces against the legalization of recreational marijuana, swearing to vote “no” should a bill make its way through the House.
The 9th District delegation, made up of Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove announced their opposition to any legislation that could legalize the drug, releasing a statement that said: “Without question, the dangers legalizing marijuana would pose to New Jersey residents are too severe to dismiss for the sake of revenue generated to fill Trenton’s coffers.”
Assemblyman Rumpf has a particular stake in the issue as a member of the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee. Rumpf attended numerous hearings on the impact of marijuana legislation from which he weighs the testimony provided by advocates on both sides.
According to the delegation, their unified front against marijuana is consistent with views of their constituents.
Their statement reads:
“First and foremost, we are concerned about the dangers of drugged driving and the expanded potential for deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers.
“No comparable equivalent to a breathalyzer test exists for law enforcement to effectively determine if a driver is high on marijuana. This will only complicate the efforts and exhaust the resources of the local police, county sheriff officers and State troopers, who already work tirelessly to keep our roadways safe.
“Teachers and all educational professionals, along with law enforcement, will be on the front lines of the fight to combat expanded drug abuse caused by the absence of any safeguards in the legislation to steer marijuana away from our youths and schools, which is also extremely alarming.
“To us and many of our constituents, it’s unfathomable and completely irresponsible that our state would even consider legalizing marijuana while tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are being appropriated to fight an opioid epidemic with an increasing death toll.
“It’s also very telling that marijuana legalization was not left up to the voters, as other states have done. Clearly, those who support legalization didn’t want leave anything to chance, including the strength of public opposition.
“In the end, this all simply comes down to money. Power brokers driving the agenda for our cash-starved state want more taxation and revenue to keep up with the reckless pace of excessive and politicized government spending, regardless of the consequences for our communities.”