A big part of the problem is what to with people under age 21 who get busted for pot. Bill Caruso, a founding member of the advocacy group New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, says there are very valid concerns from members of the Black and Latino caucuses about the enforcement of marijuana laws that have disproportionately targeted people in minority communities.
"It comes down to trust, and I think there’s a lack of trust," Caruso said. "They have seen on full display the unfortunate and biased treatment of minorities in the eyes of the law."
Meanwhile, as lawmakers debate the delicate issue of enforcement for underage use and possession, adults who should be allowed recreational use are still being arrested, which Caruso says is a case of the perfect being the enemy of the good.
"It’s the worst of both worlds," he said. "I think ... there needs to be an understanding that this is not the last iteration of reform, legislative or regulatory."