FOLLOW THE MONEY: The New Jersey Marijuana Criminalization Industrial Complex Is Profit-Driven


PHILLY 420: When a little known committee dismissed a complaint filed against a New Jersey Assemblywoman, it shined some rare sunlight on an industry raking in a healthy profit from marijuana prohibition: Substance abuse prevention and treatment centers. The Joint Committee for Ethical Standards at the New Jersey Legislature on Tuesday dismissed a complaint filed against Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R. Montmouth) who had been accused of appearing to benefit from Garden State’s marijuana laws. The core issue in the complaint was if Assemblywoman Angelini was garnering a personal profit by voting against medical marijuana access, voting against decreasing penalties for adults caught with small amounts of cannabis and voting in favor of S881.  Gov. Chris Christie has been lauded in some circles for voicing support for new approaches to drug law offenders, mainly by putting some people into treatment instead of prison. But that political cover also keeps all drug prohibition laws (including those for marijuana) and penalties (including jail) fully intact. The governor’s new approach may also be growing a private industry that has little oversight. Businesses and nonprofits related to substance abuse and education (and have close ties to state agencies and elected officials) are more than happy to see people funneled out of the courts right to their front doors; bringing bags of tax dollars with them. MORE