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how to grow weed in nj

Who stands to benefit from keeping homegrown cannabis illegal in New Jersey? Although there are no such allegations being made in the Garden State, there have been reports of marijuana businesses advocating for a ban on homegrown cannabis to protect their own interests in other states, from New York to Michigan.

As we unwind the cannabis prohibition at the state and federal level, issues like these need to be dealt with. And this one seems to be rather simple. How is the New Jersey Legislature going to deny homegrown cannabis in the Garden State? Just make it happen.

Law enforcement is also interested in keeping homegrown cannabis illegal. That could be because police often use the smell of cannabis as a reason to search a home without a warrant. That’s because in most states, the smell of cannabis is still considered “probable cause” that a crime is being committed, which allows police to conduct unreasonable searches without a warrant. When homegrown cannabis is made legal, law enforcement will lose that ability because the smell will no longer indicate that a crime is being committed.

So, how did New Jersey find itself in this idiotic situation? Last November, the people of New Jersey voted for a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis. But at some point during the negotiations to draft the enabling legislation, the home-grow provisions were cut out of it. Cut out by whom — and for what reason — remains unclear.

The good news is, it hasn’t been all bad news on the cannabis beat in Trenton. Since July 1, when marijuana legalization took effect, New Jersey has expunged more than 360,000 marijuana convictions while also dismissing pending marijuana cases. The bad news is that expunging their records doesn’t repair the damage done to those 360,000 lives, inflicted by New Jersey’s criminal justice system. To fully correct these injustices of the Drug War, New Jersey must do more than simply expunge some records.

And Sen. Kip Bateman, Vin Gopal and Declan O’Scanlon, are backing S3582, which would go even further, allowing both adult-use and medical cannabis home cultivation.

A growing list of legislators, slowly but surely, are becoming supporters of the idea, too.
For example, bill S3420, the Medical Cannabis Homegrow Act, is sponsored by Troy Singleton, and now will also be sponsored by Anthony Bucco and Brian Stack.

Even though Murphy’s first-ever run for governor promised the legalization of marijuana — he was practically elected on it — he has never been an advocate of homegrown weed. Now, for the first time ever, we are hearing signs that it could be allowed in the near future. He said his earlier opinion, which vehemently opposed home cultivation, is one that he, “would be open-minded to considering adjusting,” according to an article on headynj.com.

The article also relates that Steve Sweeney and cannabis sponsor and Judiciary Committee Chair Nick Scutari’s early support of considering home cultivation options. It seems like just a matter of time until we figure it all out and growing your own, at least with certain exceptions and limitations, will be legal here in New Jersey — as it should be in a state whose flag is emblazoned with the words “Liberty and Prosperity.” For once, the folds under the Golden dome in Trenton may actually prove that they mean it.

But so many states who have legalized recreational marijuana have already jumped on the grow your own bandwagon — usually with limitations — and it looks like Gov. Murphy might be easing his opposition to it.

There haven’t been many more polarizing issues than the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. There are those who were staunchly against it — and even those who were advocates of legalization still had an issue with people growing their own marijuana plants in New Jersey.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.