Advocates for legalizing recreational cannabis talked about how creating a new industry could jump start South Jersey’s sluggish economy at a forum Wednesday hosted by Democratic congressional candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison, of Longport.
Harrison, one of seven candidates running in the Democratic primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, supports legalizing the drug on the national level.
Federal legalization would allow it to be federally regulated and taxed, ensuring safe and consistent products. And a 5% federal tax could be used to expunge people’s records who have been convicted of small possession charges and to address social justice in minority communities, Harrison said.
With the referendum vote on legalizing adult use of cannabis on the ballot this November, much of the discussion at the law offices of Cooper Levenson centered on state legalization and making sure working-class people can benefit economically from legalization.
“Protectionism is something we need to engage in,” said LaQuay Jewel, an Atlantic City native, combat veteran and owner of Ibadah International hemp and herbal extract farms, the Home First Foods brand and Dansby Business Consulting. “The states are the ones that could preclude large corporations coming in as opposed to residency.”