Garden State weed: Why N.J.’s marijuana black market could live on even if it legalizes

Listen 14:07
In this March 21, 2015 file photo, a man rolls a marijuana cigarette as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalizing marijuana, in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

In this March 21, 2015 file photo, a man rolls a marijuana cigarette as a large group gathered near the New Jersey Statehouse to show their support for legalizing marijuana, in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

There was a time when the government, the healthcare industry, and even Hollywood went to great lengths to warn young people about the dangers of smoking marijuana. Now, pot is legal for adult recreational use in 10 states, and New Jersey is poised to become the 11th. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy ran on the issue of legalization, and lawmakers could vote on the bill as early as next week. So why has it taken more than a year of politicking to get the bill this far? And why, even if it does pass, could we still see a black market for cannabis in the Garden State? Mike Davis, who covers pot for the Asbury Park Press and USA Today Network, joins us on this episode of The Why.

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.