A state lawmaker on Monday is scheduled to unveil legislation that would legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana in New Jersey.
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) will formally announce the Democratic-sponsored measure at a noon news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton.
Medical marijuana is already legal in the state. But if this bill becomes law, New Jersey would become the ninth state to legalize pot -- joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.
"The national trend is toward legalization," Scutari told NJ Advance Media on Friday. "It's absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway."