Statement from MSNJ President, Dr. John Poole on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana


“The Medical Society of New Jersey, on behalf its members and the patients they are privileged to serve, expresses grave concerns over reports indicating legislative leaders and the Governor have reached agreement on legislation to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey.

The physician community urges the legislature and the administration to exercise restraint in in their effort to legalize marijuana. While physicians support decriminalizing adult use for social justice reasons, they oppose legalizing recreational use. 

Creating an entire new industry to sell an intoxicating product to adult users is antithetical to improving the health status of our citizenry. Adult use products, such as alcohol and tobacco, are enticing to adolescents and young adults. Legal marijuana will be no different.  Despite protections found in law, industries exist to sell as much of their products as possible, and to every possible consumer.

Our state faces high rates of chronic disease, poor maternal health outcomes and sedentary lifestyles. These conditions will not be improved by legalizing marijuana and promoting its use.

We urge our elected members of the NJ State Senate and NJ General Assembly to stand with us by acting in the interest of the public health and welfare of our state and opposing the legalization of marijuana.”


About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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