TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers are hearing the case for and against marijuana legalization.

The Democrat-led Assembly Oversight Committee held the hearing Monday in Trenton. Three additional meetings are planned for the spring.

The issue is front and center after Democrat Phil Murphy won last year’s gubernatorial contest while campaigning for legalization.

Advocates say legalization can grow state revenue and the economy, help end a pot-fueled black market and reduce drug-related arrests.

Opponents dispute the arguments on the black market and also say children are at risk to drug exposure. They also raised concerns over driving while under the influence of drugs and a spike in emergency room visits.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.


(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)