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Following a key vote in the New Jersey Legislature on Monday, December 16th, a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana will be on the November 2020 ballot. Resolution SCR183/ACR840 was passed with a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature, setting New Jersey on a pathway to legalization.

New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR) has advocated for marijuana legalization in New Jersey for years, most recently through efforts around the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act (S2703/A4497), which was considered in the Legislature earlier this year.

New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform issued the following statement:

“As longtime advocates of marijuana legalization in New Jersey, we are encouraged by Monday’s vote, which creates a pathway to marijuana legalization for New Jersey. Yet despite our support for this progress, we have significant reservations about employing the constitutional amendment process for the purposes of policy change rather than legislation. We encourage legislators to continue to push for marijuana legalization legislation that prioritizes racial and social justice and begins to repair the harms of the war on drugs.“

In anticipation of the November 2020 ballot question, we call on the New Jersey Legislature to move forward with legislation to legalize marijuana. In order to provide voters with information about what marijuana legalization will look like in practice, lawmakers must pass legislation that guarantees racial and social justice and creates an inclusive and accessible industry. The very provisions that we worked to secure in the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act – expedited expungement, resentencing and dismissal of pending charges, non-discrimination for prior marijuana offenses, and opportunities for women, people of color, and veterans with disabilities – must be preserved as New Jersey takes steps to legalize marijuana.“

We are encouraged that the public’s well-documented support for legalization will steer New Jersey away from marijuana prohibition and its harmful impact on families and communities around the state. But as New Jerseyans wait to vote on legalization, robust decriminalization legislation must be signed into law as a stopgap measure to stem the tens of thousands of marijuana-related arrests that are made each year and have a disproportionate harm on communities of color.”

In solidarity,

 

New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform
Newark, NJ