Drug Policy Alliance’s Statement On New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Votes

new jersey marijuana cannabis

Today was a really big day in New Jersey, with multiple legislative committees approving cannabis legalization. Below are reactions to both votes from the Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee held a joint hearing on marijuana legalization. The joint committee voted seven to four in the Senate and six to three in the Assembly in support of the legalization, taxation and regulation of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 years and older.

Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s important vote:

“Today’s vote is a step in the right direction for New Jersey. For too long, New Jersey’s marijuana laws have harmed families and communities, particularly communities of color. African Americans are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites despite similar rates of use, and anecdotal evidence suggests similar disparities for Latinos. Legalizing marijuana for adult-use is essential to help repair these wrongs.”

“However, along with civil rights and racial justice organizations and faith leaders across New Jersey, we continue to focus on fair and equitable marijuana reform that includes policies to repair past harms to communities of color and encourage diverse participation in the industry. We are grateful to the sponsors of the bill and leadership in the Senate and Assembly for making changes to the bill that strengthens these sections of the bill.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to ensure that New Jersey achieves fair and equitable marijuana legalization that is centered in racial and social justice.”

For more background on the New Solutions Marijuana Reform Campaign’s fight for fair and equitable marijuana legalization in New Jersey, visit www.legalizenj.org.

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Today, the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted in support of expanding New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s important vote:

“Today’s vote in support of expanding New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is a step in the right direction. However, we have concerns about the impact of this legislation on patients, as it will transfer oversight of medical marijuana from the New Jersey Department of Health, which has a long established, patient-centered program, to a new and relatively undefined commission.”

“Though this bill does not go as far as we would have liked to expand access to medical marijuana for the patients who most need it, we look forward to working with the New Jersey Legislature and New Jersey Department of Health to improve the program.”

For more background on Drug Policy Alliance’s work to establish and expand New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-jersey/medical-marijuana.

Johnny Green
About Johnny Green 2493 Articles
Johnny Green is a cannabis activist from Oregon. Johnny has a bachelor's degree in public policy, and believes that the message should always be more important than the messenger. #LegalizeIt #FreeThePlant