The pitch to legalize adult use cannabis in New Jersey includes amends to people who’ve been unfairly or disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs. Cannabis legalization is coming to New Jersey, it’s a matter of when at this point.
But what about all those people still getting locked us for something that’s legal in other states? And what happens to the criminal records of low-level, non-violent pot offenders once cannabis becomes a multi-billion dollar business here in New Jersey?
Amol Sinha, who runs ACLU NJ reminded me on Twitter that, despite all this expungement talk, 100 people still get locked up for weed in New Jersey every single day.
That’s 37,000 cannabis arrests every year in New Jersey.
“The idea that we can expunge criminal records for cannabis without dealing with the underlying criminality issue is preposterous,” Cannabis advocate/lobbyist Bill Caruso added on Twitter.
So legalization. Or at least decriminalization as triage.
But because Democrats in Trenton can’t stop fighting (and the NJGOP is mostly inept) meaningful drug reform remains elusive.
Smoking cannabis is still a crime. So cops are demonstrably content to use our drug laws to punish (mostly black) people. You don’t really think they’re arresting pretty white girls in Montclair for weed, do you?