Likewise, Murphy promised he would continue lobbying lawmakers to approve recreational marijuana and make it easier for people previously convicted of marijuana possession and other low-level, non-violent crimes have an easy route for expungement.
Earlier this year an effort to pass marijuana legislation failed to garner enough support from rank-and-file senators. In the wake of the bill’s defeat, legislative leaders said they would seek to put a marijuana referendum on the November 2020 election ballot, but in recent months there’s been talk about trying again to garner the votes needed to legalize the drug through legislation alone.
Murphy told the black leaders and community residents in Willingboro that he remains convinced that legalizing the drug for recreational purposes is needed to advance social justice and address the disproportionate numbers of minorities arrested for low-level drug crimes.
“Marijuana is not being invented. It exists in our society. The question is, how should we feel about the status quo with our kids completely exposed, with drug traffickers running the business, setting the rules, making the money and with no social justice recompense. That to me is an unacceptable status quo,” he said.
He also promised to keep fighting for an easier expungement process — including automatic expungement — as well as restoring voting rights for people convicted of crimes but on parole or probation.