For Sam Delgado, who was elected vice chair, the memory at the front of his mind when accepting the job was his own 1975 arrest for marijuana possession in upstate New York.
For Krista Nash, it was helping prisoners re-enter society while working as a social worker: "These are men and women that have been directly impacted by the war on drugs," she said. "I was a witness to the numerous barriers they faced as they tried to reintegrate back to the community."
For Charles Barker, it was seeing how the war on drugs "vilified" Black and brown individuals, families and communities.
"As I think about our work here on the commission, I think about the chance to rebuild targeted communities, about the opportunity to generate wealth in these same neighborhoods through action, at early stages no less, to one of the biggest industries of the future here in New Jersey, and throughout our country," Barker said.
All five commissioners highlighted the importance of developing a marijuana marketplace where racial equity is promoted.