End ‘opportunities for Al Capones’ by legalizing pot, conservative N.J. lawmaker urges

A man rolls marijuana as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalization Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Trenton, N.J. The event drew a diverse crowd of roughly 200 people. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

A man rolls marijuana as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalization Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Trenton, N.J. The event drew a diverse crowd of roughly 200 people. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

One of the most conservative members of the New Jersey Assembly has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana in the Garden State.

Marijuana doesn’t appear to be overly dangerous, said Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, R-Morris. He said using it should not be treated as a criminal offense.

“I am probably the single most boring individual ever born. I have never smoked a joint, never popped a pill, never did a line. I don’t even drink except occasionally maybe a hard cider or a beer,” he said. “I don’t quite get what people see in being high, but if that’s what they want, far be it from me to stand between them and their marijuana any more than I’d stand between them and their Johnnie Walker.”

Carroll said users already are able to readily obtain pot and making it legal would not cause problems.

“I think we’ve had almost 100 years of experience with a prohibitionist regime, and all we have done is created huge opportunities for many Al Capones,” he said. “That’s a mistake.”

Gov. Chris Christie has repeatedly insisted he will not sign a legalization bill, but Carroll is hoping he’d change his mind.

“You never know. I mean the governor has changed his mind on abortion since I’ve known him. He’s changed his mind on guns since I’ve known him. He signed the bill extending medical marijuana to PTSD,” Carroll said. “So there’s no reason in the world to believe he can’t be educated on this one as well.”

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