Sales of legalized pot proposed for Atlantic City

A view of Atlantic City

A view of Atlantic City

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing a constitutional amendment to allow legal sales of marijuana in Atlantic City for recreational use.

Regulating and taxing marijuana in Atlantic City would attract more visitors and help revitalize the city, said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer.

“I think that you would get gamblers back again from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. And, let’s face it, the two demographic groups that come to Atlantic City are the Woodstock seniors and 20-year-olds,” he said. “That’s the perfect demographics for recreational marijuana.”

20PGWEEDx600New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, proposes allowing sales of recreational pot in Atlantic City to attract more gamblers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The pot sales would be restricted to a warehouse district away from the Boardwalk and beach, Gusciora said, and users would not be allowed to light up in public.

“Well they could use it at their home or they could have cafes like Amsterdam or Seattle and Denver,” he said. “So I think this is a way for people to attract gamblers and then feel good about themselves when they lose.”

Another proposal in the Legislature would legalize recreational marijuana sales statewide but Gov. Chris Christie opposes that.

Allowing sales in Atlantic City by constitutional amendment would avoid the need for the governor’s approval and leave it up to voters to decide.

“Polls show the majority of voters would like to have legalized marijuana,” Gusciora said. “Cops have better things to do, and they could free up their time to concentrate on the worst crimes that are out there.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.