Barker works as a policy staffer for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, where he has focused on areas of criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization, as well as the economy and technology. He also who works with the National Action Network civil rights group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"As a young Black man from an underserved neighborhood in New Jersey, I am humbled to join the Cannabis Regulatory Commission and bring my perspective to the table," Barker said in a press release. “For generations, the misguided War on Drugs has devastated entire families and communities.
"I know this experience first-hand from being unjustly profiled and pulled over, illegally searched, and scolded many times by the police simply for the color of my skin. This is very real for me."
Gov. Phil Murphy appointed Charles Barker, a policy staffer for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which will oversee recreational and medical marijuana in New Jersey.
Barker's appointment comes after Murphy faced criticism for not appointing any Black men to the CRC. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Black people are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, despite similar usage rates.