Sheriff Golden: Murphy’s Pot Bill Is Dangerous Money Grab That Disregards Impact On Local Communities
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden issued a statement today condemning the Trenton Democrats’ marijuana legislation as “poorly written policy by the Democratic majority” “that is aimed at grabbing tax dollars without any regard on the impacts on our local communities!”
Sheriff Golden, also the Monmouth County Republican Chairman, issued his statement in a email to Monmouth Republican elected officials and party leaders.
Golden said the legislation would allow more pots shops than coffee shops in New Jersey and does not provide for licensing of retail establishments or background checks of retailers by law enforcement officers, as liquor licenses require. He cited published reports that indicate that legal marijuana in other jurisdictions have increased minority arrests and incarceration and increased motor vehicle collisions and fatalities.
He argues that the 3% fee provided to municipalities inadequate to cover the costs that local governments will bear as a results of legal weed, while Trenton grabs the lions share of the pot taxes without providing for law enforcement and education.
The sheriff is asking for support in getting the bill, which is scheduled for a vote in the legislature on March 25, be defeated:
Re: IMPORTANT message regarding Legalization of recreational marijuana.
As you may be aware, and if not you certainly should be, there is a hastily-established legislative VOTE after this weeks committee hearings on legalizing ‘recreational’ marijuana scheduled for March 25th at the State House. The hearings and vote are aimed at shotgunning the poorly written policy through both chambers in an effort to stifle any discourse, debate, and deliberation. This is a non-transparent and planned effort to combine two very different issues of ‘social justice and decriminalization of marijuana’ and that of ‘recreational use marijuana’ so as to gain access to additional taxation dollars, also know as a money grab.
As you know, Monmouth GOP stands together in fighting against ‘recreational‘ (medicinal and decriminalization aside) uses of marijuana for many reasons that would be harmful to our local communities.
No community oriented person nor local elected official could possibly be supporting a recreational marijuana bill that ignores local oversight and revenue and places our local towns at risk. This Bill in short :
❌ Allows for unlimited Pot Shops in your town, has no license limitations based on population, like that of liquor licensing.
❌ A mere 3 percent tax to your town, while the state garnishes ALL the tax revenue. Ignores local licensing fees like that of liquor licensing which each town directly benefits from. In layman’s terms the town assumes the risk, the state reps the rewards.
❌ There are NO required background checks for shop owners or operators like that which is required of liquor establishments, whereby the local police chiefs and law enforcement along with the ABC monitor said licensed establishments.
First, I would like to commend our leaders and elected officials who have voiced their opinions against ‘recreational’ sales and usage and thank them for their efforts in passing county and local resolutions/ordinances aimed at denying those recreational retail Pot shops as well as growing facilities in your respective municipalities.
That said, committee hearings and the VOTE on the 25th are aimed at rapidly and hastily passing through the ‘recreational‘ marijuana bill which by all accounts is flawed and fails to address a number of issues that will ultimately negatively impact our great county and our local communities.
I am asking for your support in contacting your legislators to make them aware that you are against the legalization bill for ‘recreational’ marijuana usage for the following reasons:
Having more pot shops than coffee shops in your town is unacceptable – The proposed bill places NO limitations on the number of retail marijuana Pot shops per town or per capita, like that of local liquor licensing.
Stop the money grab on the backs of your town residents – State taxation and so called anticipated revenue all directed towards the State budget with no funds for County and minimal return of 3% tax for local municipal governments. Unlike liquor licensing where local towns are the direct recipient of the revenue from liquor license sale.
There is no funding in the bill for education and enforcement of underage children/teen/students subject to an already challenging opioid addiction environment.
The bill contains little funding for law enforcement – Local law enforcement officers will have no approved detection apparatus for field sobriety testing and will need additional expert training to deal with those under the influence particularly while operating a motor vehicle or machinery . Such training will be left on the backs of local property tax payers .
Statistics in those states with recreational marijuana have shown an increase in motor vehicle collisions and fatalities with operators under the influence of marijuana placing NJ drivers and our families on the road at risk and will certainly increase our Auto Insurance premiums. See Report: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-10-18/study-car-crashes-up-in-states-where-marijuana-is-legal%3fcontext=amp
Statistics have also shown increases in minority arrests and incarceration along with notable black market activity in the communities. An increase of homelessness populations as well as an increase of crime in the communities around dispensaries. The black market effect seen in the other states is certainly highlighted by this story out of California: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-crackdown-pot-black-market-20190219-story.html
These issues, to name a few, along with many other concerns are all reasons to STOP the vote on legalization. Thank you ALL again for the support and for your engagement in fighting against a poorly written policy by the Democratic majority controlled state legislature. One that is aimed at grabbing tax dollars without any regard on the impacts on our local communities!
Chairman Shaun Golden