Advocacy Organizations Respond to Formation of Legislative Committee to Review Implementation of Marijuana Legalization

Advocacy Organizations Respond to Formation of Legislative Committee to Review Implementation of Marijuana Legalization
CANNANNEW REPORT

The Statement March 30, 2022 NEWARK – After nearly ten years of advocacy, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved marijuana legalization in 2020 to advance racial and social justice. The accompanying legislation that was passed and signed the following year put in place some of the most forward-looking cannabis laws in the country and included a groundbreaking decriminalization framework. Now is a pivotal moment nationally for marijuana legalization and New Jersey. Our adult-use marijuana market is being constructed at a time when New Jersey has the opportunity to be a national leader in this space by prioritizing equity and building an industry that reflects the diversity of the state itself from the start. The goals of creating an inclusive industry, promoting racial justice, and beginning to repair the harms of prohibition are too important to be rushed. Following this week’s announcement that the Legislature may form a committee to review the implementation of marijuana legalization in New Jersey and last week’s announcement from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission that it issued several minority-owned conditional licenses and intended to promote a level playing field for all applicants, while also continuing to prioritize patient access to medical cannabis, advocacy groups issued the following statements: Ami Kachalia, ACLU of New Jersey: “Our state’s cannabis laws can set a new standard for what racial and social justice can look like – to achieve it we must not prioritize speed of implementation over equity in the industry. For cannabis legalization to meet its fullest potential in New Jersey, we must remain committed to repairing the harms of prohibition that disproportionately criminalized and affected Black and brown communities, and provide all applicants with equitable opportunity to succeed.” Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Salvation and Social Justice: “Throughout history, cannabis prohibition was used as a prominent tool in a war on Black…

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