Key details in New Jersey’s marijuana law could be decided this weekend
David Bienenstock November 19, 2020
It's in your hands: New Jersey legislators are wheeling and dealing over marijuana rules right now. If you want to grow at home, or increase social equity opportunities, now is the time to call your legislator. (AdobeStock)
When New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was campaigning for that office back in 2017, he made enacting cannabis legalization in the Garden State a cornerstone of his stump speech. In fact, he repeatedly promised to deliver this historic change during his first 100 days in office.
Gov. Phil Murphy promised to legalize. New Jersey voters demanded it. Now Murphy and the legislature are fighting over the details.
“We have to talk about the legalization of marijuana through a social justice frame,” Murphy said in a televised debate.
“New Jersey has the largest white to non-white gap of persons incarcerated in America. We need comprehensive criminal justice reform. [Legalization] is not the only thing we can or should do, but lower end drug arrests are the biggest contributor to that racial disparity. So that’s the first reason we want to legalize marijuana. Not because we can make money off it, which is the last reason.”
Question 1 passed with 67% approval
Phil Murphy won that election in a landslide, 56% to 42%. In his inauguration speech he doubled down, promising to end cannabis arrests in his first 100 days. But nearly three years later, those arrests continue in New Jersey—yes, even after the state’s recent resounding vote to legalize.