I recently heard on the news that a New Jersey state senator has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana, tax it and use the taxes to fix bridges and roadways. Ah, I thought to myself, finally. The next thing the newswoman said was that Gov. Chris Christie has vowed he will never legalize marijuana for recreational use.

I've been very patient. I graduated high school in 1975, when smoking marijuana was very recreational for me and my friends. I grew up, fell in love with a New Jersey law-enforcement agent, and married that remarkable man, knowing I would never get high again out of respect for him and his job.

Over the years, medicinal marijuana became acceptable. My hopes leapt in anticipation of what would come next. First Colorado legalized marijuana, then Washington did. I wondered if New Jersey could be next. Could I someday enjoy my golden years sitting in my rocking chair on my front porch, sipping some wine and smoking a bit of marijuana with my retired husband? Not as long as Christie has a say. He requires that I be terminally ill to have that pleasure.

Consider this: While many people leave New Jersey because of the high cost of living, there are lots of people with money from my generation who are looking for a place to retire to, and legalizing marijuana will make our state very inviting to many of them, including professionals, artists, musicians, writers, actors, etc. Add our casinos, beaches, fine night life and lush countryside, and you've really got a great product. People will come, and they will stay.

Yes, I will continue to be patient. I will wait until recreational marijuana is legal, which it will be someday. I hope it happens in my lifetime, because I can't imagine a more relaxed, enjoyable retirement than to stay right here in New Jersey.

HEIDI LILJESTRAND

Galloway Township