One month ago I was arrested for cannabis and while right now I'm still unable to share the details at this time I do want to share what happened after and how one month later I found myself a New Jersey medical marijuana patient. Back when I started this website around November 2017 and in the months prior I began a quest to learn more about something I've used medically for many years.. marijuana.. cannabis.. weed..
State Senator Rice released an op-ed on the 4th of July, in which he made a plea to his peers in the New Jersey State Legislature to prioritize decriminalization-
“We can make this happen and put our state at the vanguard of social justice in America. We can infuse our independence with a deeper level of freedom grounded in real justice for all. We can give the Fourth of July even greater meaning and let our fireworks reflect our own impossible formations of brilliance that make us one vibrant, colorful nation.”
Delaware lawmakers have approved two measures that will decriminalize underage possession or consumption of alcohol and simple possession of marijuana to juveniles. Both bills are headed to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature.
House lawmakers voted 34-to-7 for the bill decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.
One of the more complex issues confronting the latest wave of states looking to legalize cannabis, including New Jersey, is how to incorporate social justice efforts into legalization legislation. To date, 33 states have implemented medical cannabis programs and 10 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use. That number will soon rise to 11, as Illinois just became the first state where the legislature passed a bill legalizing both the possession and sale of cannabis, a designation most believed would go to New Jersey or New York.
After a meeting with black millennial leaders and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), I visited one of my closest friends who lives in a quaint apartment complex in a D.C. suburb. Attempting to decompress from the conversation about mass incarceration, gender equity, and bail bonds, I found myself zoned in on Maryland foliage swaying gently from a spring breeze. My attention was then captured by children traversing the courtyard of the complex with elevated voices and sheer excitement. The children were unfazed by the economic limitations characteristic of the neighborhood.
Lock your doors, shut your blinds and hide your kids. There’s a danger lurking about that’s menacing suburban, rural and urban communities alike: hypocritical politicians trying to get rich off the nation’s burgeoning marijuana industry.
Beware. The list is long and growing.
A burning joint, pleasantly fragrant and wrapped in organic hemp paper, rests between my fingers. I am pondering the reality of war continuing against me for this choice. Like many, I bear scars.
Marijuana smokers and medical cannabis patients in New Jersey are to remain second class citizens. The two-ring, bipartisan political circus in Trenton has failed to deliver a promise of our freedom… again.
“So far it has been pretty disappointing to see long-time legislators failing to deliver their promise to end prohibition,” Chris Goldstein, an activist, writer and educator from Philadelphia told The Marijuana Times. “In 2016, at the Democratic National Convention, the party passed a platform stance called ‘A Pathway to Legalization’. But the machine Democrats of New Jersey have put up nothing but roadblocks ever since. In some ways we can’t expect Trenton to have the courage to regulate adult-use cannabis when no other state legislature has taken that plunge yet.
Accordingly, plan B, they have said, is to significantly expand the current medical cannabis system and push through a separate bill (S-3205) for expunging the records of individuals with arrests or convictions for low-level marijuana crimes.
"They have a golden ticket for a free search of your car," Lomurro said. "The smell of marijuana has been used as a tool to support police investigation for a long time."
That would change under the New Jersey marijuana legalization bill pending in the Legislature. In addition to legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana possession and use for recreational purposes, the bill would officially remove the smell of marijuana — or sight, in most cases — as probable cause for police to search a vehicle.