Social justice is the primary reason Governor Phil Murphy and a host of politicians have pushed for legalization of cannabis in New Jersey.
Among the many effects of the War on Drugs – especially marijuana – has been the negative impact on communities of color from arrest rates to incarceration and now to the great difficulty in entering legal markets from the ownership side.
Social justice and social equity are the impetus behind two of the bills that passed through committees in 2018 and may be voted on as soon as this week: The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act (S2703) and s3205, which revises certain procedures for expungement of records of conviction.
“By legalizing adult-use marijuana – first and foremost – we can reverse the inequality and unfairness left from years of failed drug policies and shift public safety resources to where they can do the most good,” Murphy said during his State of the State address in January. “We must ensure that those with a past mark on their records because of a low-level offense can have that stain removed, so they can move forward to get a stable job or an education.”