What Rice now represents is an unsettling crack in Murphy’s effort to unite Democratic support behind his plan to legalize marijuana as a social justice initiative to keep the disproportionate number of African-Americans who are arrested on minor pot possession charges from going to prison.
Rice does not buy Murphy’s message.
“It’s not about social justice,” he told me. “It’s about money.”
And to hear Rice tell it, most of the profits from marijuana sales will not go to Newark’s African-American community — or to other African-Americans across New Jersey. Instead, he says they will end up in the pockets of wealthy and white Wall Street investors.
“We should be raising these questions publicly,” Rice said. “It’s hard to compete against billionaires. A lot of them are rich white guys.”