Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement on today’s news:
“This is a tragedy for social and racial justice in New Jersey. This legislation was supported by a broad coalition of civil rights, advocacy and faith organizations across the state and the majority of New Jersey voters.”
“This legislation contained critically important racial and social justice and equity provisions. Among other provisions, this bill would have provided for free and expansive expungement of previous marijuana convictions, resentencing for people who are currently incarcerated or on probation or parole, and for provisional licenses and micro licenses to allow for participation by a broader group of individuals. The bill would also have established the Minority, Disabled Veterans, and Women Cannabis Business Development Division within the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to encourage minority participation in this new industry.”
“Currently New Jersey arrests more than 32,000 people a year for marijuana possession. Most of the individuals who are arrested are people of color. If this legislation had passed, these arrests would have been a thing of the past. In addition, thousands of people would have been able to get their marijuana convictions expunged so they could have moved on with their lives. Thousands of jobs would have been created and millions of dollars in tax revenue would have been generated, which could have been used to support families and communities.”
“But, we will not give up. We will continue to fight for marijuana legalization legislation centered on racial and social justice. It is only a matter of time before this legislation is enacted and all New Jerseyans can share in the benefits it will create.”
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.