New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (REP) is in Colorado this week talking sh*t about our booming cannabis industry, and I am reminded of an experience I just had while visiting my homeland of the Garden State this past weekend.
I have visited New Jersey four times since working in the Colorado medical marijuana industry, and I found that on this most recent trip I had more people than ever ask me about cannabis in Colorado. Thanks to media coverage, Sanjay Gupta and TV specials, people across the country are waking up to the amazing benefits of medical and legal cannabis.
I attended a childhood friend’s wedding while in NJ, which gave me the opportunity to be surrounded by people of different ages and professions. As soon as the drinks were flowing, wedding guests started asking me all sorts of questions about what it’s like to live in a legal state, and the ways in which cannabis benefits those who chose to participate.
“What’s it like to buy weed in a store?” Maryanne, 45, asked.
“How much does it cost?” Steve, 47, chimed in.
Maryanne explained that she’s been smoking pot since high school and wasn’t afraid to talk about it.
“I think everyone should have access to legal cannabis,” Maryanne, a lifelong Morris County resident, said, “but that won’t be happening while Gov. Chris Christie is in office.”
Steve disagreed. He thought Gov. Chris Christie might change his conservative stance on marijuana right before he leaves office, so that he can (try) to leave on a “good note”, as if that’s actually possible.
“I don’t know how Christie is in office,” Steve, another NJ native, said. “I don’t know anyone who likes him.”
Steve told me that he smokes cannabis everyday, and uses it to relax after a long day of work and fathering four young children.
“I like it a hell of a lot better than the Zoloft I’m prescribed,” Steve said with a sad smile.
Maryanne wanted to know why my Colorado medical card doesn’t allow me to carry cannabis while visiting NJ.
“You can bring your Xanax from state to state,” she said, “why not your cannabis?”
I didn’t have a good answer for her, other than that the cannabis plant is deemed illegal by the federal agency that regulates and approves man-made pharmaceutical drugs.
Her next question was if we can smoke cannabis anywhere in the state of Colorado, and that made me laugh because I, along with one of my co-workers, have both received tickets for consuming cannabis in public. My ticket was a non-criminal offense and cost me $135; my co-worker’s ticket occurred on federal (national park) property and cost him $275.
One of my friends at the wedding party works with autistic children in NJ, and the mother of an autistic child that she works closely with is wondering if medical marijuana can help curb her son’s behavioral and communication issues.
“What if I got a hold of some pot and discovered it worked for my son? Would I have to move to Colorado?” his mother asked.
According to your governor Chris Christie, yes. It’s a shame Chris Christie won’t give the people of New Jersey what they want. The state’s economy is crumbling under his leadership, and he has told his residents to “move to Colorado” if they want to live where cannabis is legal. Perhaps Chris Christie is unfamiliar with the phrase “be careful what you wish.” With Forbes ranking Colorado as the 5th best state for business and careers, NJ came in 33rd. Additionally, private sector job growth in New Jersey is among the lowest in all of the 50 states, while the employment rate in Colorado is at a new high.
Despite the rage that boils inside of me every time I see Chris Christie’s name in the news (which is often), it was really a positive experience for me to visit New Jersey and witness so many of its residents embracing what Colorado is doing, even if their fucked-up, corrupt leader disagrees. If I lived in New Jersey I would be on a political rampage to get Christie impeached, and it is one of my wishes to see my friends and family follow through with that task. He thinks legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do, and I think electing him as Governor is the wrong thing to do.
I have attached links to articles that support facts stated in this blog.
employment rate in Colorado: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/colorado/
employment rate in New Jersey: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.app.com%2Fstory%2Fmoney%2Fbusiness%2Finthemoney%2F2014%2F05%2F07%2Fnew-jerseys-job-growth-ranks-50th%2F8805241%2F&ei=rfvQU92lK8bc8gHBrIHgAQ&usg=AFQjCNECqUXOGrMmuMEPMZSUZxMN4MfFrA&sig2=TYabx3djLyo__c0dv3WBXQ
Chris Christie tells NJ residents to move to Colorado: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecannabist.co%2F2014%2F04%2F22%2Fnew-jersey-chris-christie-move-to-colorado-if-you-want-legal-marijuana%2F10147%2F&ei=6fvQU9rxMISc8QGG6YDYCQ&usg=AFQjCNG9Ef0UlVP06pRGayMiOxfDaJEXyQ&sig2=KJ3ACgfNiRG73hW0SO9tFg
Cannabis and Autism: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fguardianlv.com%2F2014%2F05%2Fmedical-cannabis-treats-autism%2F&ei=BPzQU4C6NMLTiwKzsYHYBg&usg=AFQjCNEfMYvWX9CLrHDqtibQ2DTsmpcnCg&sig2=ey3BIJ2l-l0C6IoN3kJQGg
Chris Christie sucks. “The Holtec firm will reap subsidies of $26 million a year for 10 years. In exchange, New Jersey will realize $155,520 in net economic benefits over 35 years, the authority estimated.” … “Since Gov. Chris Christie took office in 2010, New Jersey has distributed more than $4 billion in tax breaks — far more than under any previous governor — yet private-sector job growth has been one of the slowest of all 50 states, according to federal data.”: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/07/nj_gives_260_million_tax_break_to_energy_company_with_political_ties.html#incart_most-comments