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New Jersey: Preparing to Pass Legalization In 2018

Update: A hearing was held June 19. You can watch it HERE

Political support within the legislature to reform New Jersey’s marijuana laws has never been greater. 

This year, SB 3195 has been introduced by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari to regulate the adult use, production, and retail sale of marijuana. The House companion bill is A 4872.

Upon introducing SB 3195, Scutari said: "(T)he negative impacts of the failed "War on Marijuana" cannot be overstated. New Jersey spends more than $100 million a year on enforcement of marijuana laws, and possession made up more than 40 percent of all drug arrests in 2010. We are locking up people for petty charges and creating unfair obstacles to our residents getting jobs and buying homes.’

The ACLU-NJ found that police make a marijuana possession arrest in New Jersey on average every 22 minutes and that black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates.

While Scurari’s enthusiasm and history of leadership for sane cannabis policy is greatly appreciated, his bill fails to address two critical issues: 

  • The immediate expungement of criminal records for victims of charges for simple possession of marijuana 
  • The ability for individuals and patients to legally cultivate cannabis for personal consumption. 

It is our hope that lawmakers will in the future include language addressing these key issues.

According to a 2015 Rutgers-Eagleton poll, nearly six in ten New Jersey adults support "legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over." Similar percentages of voters through the country also endorse legalization.

Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations.  

The Garden State is ripe for reform and it is more important than ever to learn from the successes of the other states and to pass a comprehensive and consumer-oriented bill to be signed into law in 2018. 

Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge their support for this important measure. 


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