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A Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Legalizing Marijuana In The Region

(Marijuana packaged for medical use.  File photo)

(Marijuana packaged for medical use. File photo)

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By Special Contributor Larry Kane

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Colorado and Washington have legally passed marijuana for recreational use. Should it happen here?

One hand, New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Guscoria wants to decriminalize marijuana but Radnor police chief Bill Colarulo says wait a minute.

“Would you want a doctor operating on you who has marijuana in his system from recreational use that was legalized in some states. Or a police officer who has back injury or whatever under the influence of marijuana while carrying a gun or stopping you or do you want them to show up when you are calling for help? There is a grey area here and it has to be defined what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable. It should never be legalized.”

Meet Reed Guscoria. He’s a New Jersey assemblyman and prosecutor who thinks it’s time to decriminalize the use of marijuana. He doesn’t want to legalize it just take some penalties away for using it.

“In New Jersey, we have to ship that joint to state police for analysis then it has to come back and the lab technician has to testify that it is indeed marijuana. Then the officer that delivered that joint to the state police has to testify. It’s really costly for taxpayers to prosecute somebody for one joint.”

Listen to extended interview: