Government

Danielsen Holds First in Series of Marijuana Hearings

Danielsen Announces Three Marijuana Hearings Across NJ
5411d9900940c7df34e2_DSC_0593.jpg
Assm. Joe Danielsen at Garden State Dispensary Credits: Malik Lyons
5411d9900940c7df34e2_DSC_0593.jpg

Lifelong Franklin resident, Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17 Middlesex/Somerset), chairman of the Assembly Oversight, Reform, and Federal Relations Committee is leading discussions regarding legalized marijuana in New Jersey. 

Danielsen's committee heard testimony for several hours regarding the impact of expanding legalized marijuana Monday, March 5. Currently, in New Jersey only medical marijuana is legal.   

“We started as a blank slate, and the committee received a great education, but it’s just the beginning," Danielsen said... "This is an important civil justice, health care, and law enforcement issue. We will hear all viewpoints and continue to get an education."

Sign Up for E-News

Monday's committee hearing included testimony from lawyers, doctors, former law enforcement, medical marijuana patients, elected officials and other stakeholders. The impact of prospective marijuana legislation on public health, criminal justice system and the economy was discussed. 

The majority of the testimonies can be found by clicking here

Shaleen Title, an attorney and one of five members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission warned against decriminalization and the disproportionate legal consequences minorities face concerning marijuana arrests.   

"After Massachusetts decriminalized marijuana in 2008 the number of arrests, of course, went down significantly, but racial disparity among those arrests have only increased," Title said. Removing the penalties from marijuana without taking attentional steps towards social justice is a half measure, it is simply not enough."    

Racial disparities in New Jersey marijuana arrests are at an all-time high, according to ACLU-NJ. In 2013, Black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates, according to ACLU-NJ.

"In my district (17) the ACLU has reported that a black man is 15 times more likely to be arrested than the same user that is a white male," Danielsen said. 

Retired DEA Supervisory Special Agent, Jack Teitelman, is the founder and CEO of the Titan Group a full-service DEA compliance risk management firm, provided testimony to the panel.

"In a properly regulated market, we develop a system where we are drying up the black market," Teitelman said. "The benefits of a properly regulated NJ cannabis market means we are going from the shadows of cartels and drug dealers to business owners, creating a stronger workforce and increased tax revenue... There is more good associated with a regulated industry than one of prohibition or complete decriminalization."

In addition to Monday's committee hearing, Danielsen has embarked on various field trips to assist him during his fact-finding mission. One such trip was to one of the six medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey, the Garden State Dispensary (GSD).

Danielsen along with other elected officials toured GSD Feb. 27.

Woodbridge Mayor, John E. McCormac discussed the impact the dispensary has had on his community. "As the host mayor, I have to say this place has not been an issue for us one little bit," McCormac said.

During the March 13 Township Council meeting a local resident asked if the township has any plans regarding the legalization of marijuana. 

Mayor Phil Kramer said the council is waiting to see what will be done on the state level before any actions will be taken. 

There will be more public hearings throughout New Jersey in the coming months, so the public can express their thoughts to elected officials.

"The Assembly is of the opinion, that we only have one shot at doing this right the first time," Danielsen said. "This is too important to rush. The process must include heavy input from our communities." 

According to Danielsen's Facebook page, the "Cannabis Listening Tour" will be on the following dates and locations starting at 10 AM:

Saturday, April 14th — Middlesex County College

Saturday, April 21st — Rowan University

Saturday, May 12th — Bergen County Community College

Visit and read your exclusive Franklin news at TAPinto Franklin Township  24/7 for FREE: TAPintoFranklinTownship.net.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Edison Police Seek Help Finding Missing 14-Year-Old

June 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ - A 14-year-old Edison girl who ran away from home on May 3 has yet to be found and police are asking anyone with information about  to come forward.

Edison detectives are leading a statewide search for the girl, Jalaysia Staplar-Evans. They said they believe she could be staying with friends or acquaintances in Newark or the Essex County area, said Edison Police Lt. Robert ...

Obituaries

Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more
Toms River – Mary Stella Whiteman, 97, passed away peacefully Saturday May 19, 2018 in Rose ...
Read more

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

The ESCNJ Offers Innovative Software To Strengthen School Transportation

New software promising greater speed and efficiency for school transportation departments is now available through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

The software is the result of a two year collaboration between the Princeton based Artha Systems, an international supplier of business management software, and the ESCNJ.

“The software is unlike anything on the ...

Rutgers takes over New Brunswick police dispatch service

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Empowerment for the Job Search: Applications & ...

Business & Finance

Thu, July 5, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Trivia Night at the Library!

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 11, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Three to Feature Fauré ...

Arts & Entertainment

Franklin Township: Shots Fired, Local Man Critically Injured, Police Seeking Help

June 23, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - An unidentified, 23-year-old local man was found shot in the area of Reler Lane and taken to an area hospital and listed in critical condition, according to a release from the Somerset County Prosecutor's office. 

The Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 1 am Saturday morning reporting shots fired in the area of Reler Lane, ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  

 

My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  

 

Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...