Legalize cannabis with racial and social justice at the forefront


On November 3rd, voters made history by saying YES to legalizing cannabis in the Garden State. As New Jersey begins to legalize, New Jersey must repair the devastation wrought by the failed drug war on Black and brown communities, and forge an equitable future.

Urge lawmakers: It’s critical New Jersey legalizes the right way. That means we must decriminalize now, and pass legislation to implement legalization that centers racial and social justice.

Message Recipients:
Your State Senator
Your State Assembly Representative
Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin
Governor Phil Murphy

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Your Message

On November 3rd, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize cannabis for adult use. Voters said YES to ending the harms of cannabis prohibition and expressed a desire for New Jersey to take a reparative approach to ending our state’s unjust cannabis laws. Now, I’m calling on you to immediately pass cannabis decriminalization (A1897/S2535) and to amend the cannabis legalization implementation bill (S21/A21) to invest in communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.

We ask for three key amendments to S21/A21:

1. Collect and allocate tax revenue to the communities most harmed: Implement an excise tax to generate revenue that is directed towards communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and to help individuals most harmed by prohibition to enter into and thrive in the new industry.

2. Build equitable access to the new cannabis industry: Create explicit opportunities to include community members from areas most harmed by disinvestment and racially disparate policing and those with prior cannabis-related records and their families to participate in the new cannabis marketplace. At least 33% of all licenses must be reserved for these "equity applicants," and provisions must be put in place to preserve majority ownership and create sustainable jobs in impact zone municipalities.

3. Restore funding for expungement: Last year's cannabis legalization bill directed a portion of the sales tax revenue collected from legalization to fund cannabis-related expungements. Expungements must be easily accessible and available at no-cost to those with prior cannabis-related records and this funding must be restored.

I urge you to work with legislative sponsors to amend this bill, and fulfill the vision of legalization that voters spoke for when they voted to legalize cannabis last week.

With every day that passes, hundreds more people suffer the consequences of our current cannabis laws. We cannot delay any longer. We must decriminalize now, and pass implementation legislation that centers racial and social justice.


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