Today, a supermajority of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly voted to refer adult-use legalization to voters. The Senate vote was 24-16, while the Assembly approved the voter referral 49-24-1.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, New Jersey voters will decide whether to approve a short constitutional amendment that replaces marijuana prohibition with regulation.
While we are optimistic that voters will put an end to New Jersey’s eight-decade-long war on marijuana, this development is bittersweet. MPP favored the 147-page legalization bill that included strong provisions for decriminalization, expungement, and inclusion and would have taken effect sooner.
There will be a time when your help will be needed to rally support for the ballot measure. But for now, please write your state legislators to make sure they don’t lose sight of other important reforms.
Expungement legislation — which would wipe clear the scarlet letters of tens of thousands of marijuana convictions — passed the Senate today and is expected to be taken up in the Assembly tonight. We also want to ensure the legislature decriminalizes simple possession as soon as possible. Decriminalizing marijuana now would save tens of thousands of individuals from the trauma and disruption of an arrest between now and Election Day. Finally, please make sure the legislature knows voters want equitable, inclusive legalization. Those who have been most hurt by prohibition must be included in the benefits of legalization.
Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to move New Jersey toward humane marijuana policies!