NEW JERSEY MOVES TOWARDS MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
By Erin White
March 12, 2019
Pay attention, New Jersey stoners — your dreams are about to come true. Finally reaching a deal on late on Monday, state Democrats are whipping the votes to pass a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older. After working through some sticking points, Governor Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that an agreement had been reached after more than a year of negotiations.
In addition to legalization, the measure also aims to increase the participation of women and people of color in the cannabis industry. While both chambers of the Legislature are controlled by Dems, the majority of lawmakers are still on the fence about legalization. So, the hope of the governor’s is to convince the majority of lawmakers of the next 13 to vote to pass the measure on March 25. “Legalizing adult-use marijuana is a monumental step to reducing disparities in our criminal justice system,” Murphy said.
Included in the deal would be a measure to expedite record expungement for people convicted of low-level marijuana crimes. It would also bar certain marijuana-related offenses from being considered in sectors, like education, housing, and job licensing.