“When it comes to public safety policy, legalizing marijuana for recreational use is hands down one of the most irresponsible and dangerous laws we could pass in 2019,” Pennacchio (R-26) said. “It is absolutely shocking to see people who have taken an oath to serve the public ignore organizations like the American Medical Association and the New Jersey Police Chiefs, who continue to oppose this policy. I am also astounded by my colleagues’ blatant refusal to acknowledge the myriad of medical studies showing the detrimental health impacts of legalizing marijuana.
“I have been speaking out against this for years. I remain staunchly opposed to legalizing marijuana because I believe that our number one responsibility as elected officials is to protect our constituents from harm.
“Peer-reviewed studies have consistently shown that marijuana can increase the risk of catastrophic mental illnesses. Certain Democrats are obsessed with completely ridding New Jersey of cigarettes, by banning smoking in all public spaces, and yet the leaders of their State party want to legalize a drug that could drastically increase the risk of schizophrenia. Marijuana also slows cognitive development in innocent children, who will undoubtedly have more access to this drug if it becomes legal. How can anyone, in good conscience, ignore these statistics?
“As I’ve previously highlighted, marijuana will also make our roadways more dangerous, and police officers simply don’t have the tools or resources to stop that from happening – there is no breathalyzer test for marijuana. Legalization could also lead to an increase homelessness and an uptick in crime. All of these harmful consequences are already happening in states where the drug is legal. Governor Murphy: Don’t let it happen here.”