New Jersey's best-known marijuana legalization advocate Whoopi Goldberg is calling on the legislature to pass a bill that would tax and regulate the popular plant. A vote is expected on March 25.
Goldberg has contacted several undecided female members of the legislature, hoping to sway their votes, The actress and The View host lives in South Orange and co-owns the cannabis company Whoopi & Maya.
On March 25, an article by Goldberg, titled "Let Adults Be Adults and Legalize Cannabis," was posted by USA Today Networks. It reads, in part:
"As a New Jersey resident, I whole-heartedly support this effort. One of the reasons I chose to make my home in New Jersey was this state’s long history as a beacon of sensible and progressive policies, and legalization will add to this legacy.
"I am known as an outspoken proponent for legalization, a position that stems from the fact that I have been a marijuana user since my youth, when I discovered it was the only medicine that could relieve my crippling menstrual cramps without crippling the rest of my life. As I have grown older, and questionably wiser, I have maintained a healthy relationship with marijuana. I now use marijuana, through a vape pen, to relieve headaches from glaucoma...
"Being a celebrity makes me no different than the countless adults across our state who simply want to be able to access marijuana for their own responsible personal use. I only have been blessed with a large platform from which to seek this change. Until the Legislature’s vote on Monday, I fully intend to use it.
"For countless adults across New Jersey, myself included, marijuana has never been about getting high just for the sake of it. And, that’s something that lawmakers on Monday need to remember. The unhinged and dire doomsday prophecies of some simply have not come to fruition elsewhere, nor will they in New Jersey.
"At issue is adult-use marijuana, and treating adults as, well, adults. And, when we do that, what will follow – positive societal change – is much more important than not treating us like petty criminals."
In the past few weeks, the legislature and Gov. Phil Murphy have hammered out a deal that lets Senate bill 2703 move forward and head for a vote. The tax rate would be $42 per ounce, but home grow is excluded. However, the bill may not have enough votes to pass, which Muphy will sign if it does.
Goldberg, 63, has not been on The View since February 6 due to a bout with pneumoniua and sepsis. On March 8, she told her co-hosts via a video that she "came very close to leaving the earth. Good news, I didn’t."