The first of three public questions that appear on this year’s ballot asks voters if they want New Jersey to join the ranks of nearly a dozen states where it’s legal for adults to use marijuana recreationally.
Among those who vocally support legalization in New Jersey is Gov. Phil Murphy, a first-term Democrat who made the issue part of his campaign platform in 2017. Murphy and other legalization advocates have argued that regulated marijuana sales could generate much-needed tax revenue for a state budget that’s been hit hard by revenues losses triggered by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Legalization supporters have also been making a social-justice case, citing studies that show Blacks and Latinos don’t use marijuana more than whites, but are more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and suffer long-term consequences as a result.
The latest polls suggest a majority of New Jersey voters support legalization, by a roughly 2-to-1 margin.