On Monday, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney announced the Senate lacked the votes needed to legalize marijuana. Instead, twin resolutions have been introduced in the Assembly and Senate that would allow voters to decide the question themselves in November 2020. Some senators who are wary of legalization support kicking the decision to voters.
To place the measure on the ballot, the Senate and Assembly must either pass the resolution in both 2019 and 2020 with a simple majority, or they must pass it a single time with a three-fifths supermajority. While we strongly preferred the 147-page bill, which included important provisions for equity and would have taken effect sooner, a voter referral now appears to be the only path to legalize cannabis in New Jersey. We can’t let this opportunity to end the devastating war on cannabis slip away. But it is also crucial that social equity provisions don’t fall by the wayside.
On Monday, Assemblyman Jamel Holley and advocates launched a “94 No More” campaign, highlighting the outrageous fact that 94 people — disproportionately African American and Latino — are arrested in New Jersey every day for marijuana. Urge your legislators to stop possession arrests and to wipe clean the scarlet letters that destroy opportunities for people with marijuana convictions. Then, spread the word to other New Jerseyans who support humane marijuana policies.
New Jersey legislators tabled the state's legalization bill in March, believing it lacked the votes needed to pass the Senate. But Senate President Stephen Sweeney recently gave the effort new hope when he expressed a willingness to try to pass legislation during the "lame duck" session in late 2019.
Securing the votes needed to pass the Senate will require all hands on deck — several lawmakers who are on the fence will need to come around. Please do your part. You can send your state legislators an email using our free software. Our pre-written, editable letters make it a quick and easy process.
We also encourage you to schedule a meeting with your state senator to discuss the issue in person. You can look up your state senator's phone number here. (Your state senator is your "upper chamber" member.) Let us know if you secure a meeting, and we can help prepare you.
Please also let us know if you have a special connection to the issue that could be influential. Are you a medical professional, clergy member, former or current law enforcement, or someone who was hurt by marijuana prohibition? Let us know.
And don't forget to reach out to your state senator, and to spread the word to other New Jerseyans. Together, we can end the disastrous policy of cannabis prohibition in the Garden State.
Today, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act into law. The bill is named after a pediatric cancer patient who passed away last year. Towards the end of Jake's fight, he relied on medical marijuana to ease the symptoms of the terrible disease. His family has since become advocates for medical marijuana reforms and helped spearhead this new law.
The new law will expand patient access to medical marijuana, by allowing more qualifying conditions and increasing the amount a patient can purchase in a month. It also creates a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission to govern the medical marijuana program. A summary of the changes can be found here.
While the legislature didn't manage to pass legalization this session, it's only matter of time. Support for changing marijuana laws is growing every day. Just last week, New Jersey state senators held a press conference calling for decriminalization and expungement reform. Together, we can bring about marijuana policy reform in New Jersey.
Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy and leaders in the legislature decided not to hold a vote on their marijuana legalization bill. It was determined that they did not have enough votes to pass the bill, and they chose to table the bill until they do.
While this is a disappointing setback, let's make sure it is only a temporary one. As Gov. Murphy said, "Justice may be delayed, but justice will not be denied."
If they don't support the bill, please consider reaching out further and asking for a meeting. If lawmakers don't hear from their constituents, they won't change their minds. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with your lawmaker, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can help facilitate that and arm you with the best resources in support of ending marijuana prohibition.
So please, email your lawmakers and then spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and family members.
As you may have heard, the marijuana legalization bill passed out of committee and now heads to a floor vote, which is expected this Monday.
Time is short, so please call your senator now.
We are hearing that the vote will be very close, and there is no guarantee that it will pass. By reaching out to your senator, you are helping pass marijuana legalization, and we can't do it without you.
Please help end marijuana prohibition and connect with your lawmaker today. Then, forward this email to your friends and family so they can take action, too. Together, we can make marijuana legal in New Jersey.
As you may have heard, Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced they have finally come to an agreement regarding the details of marijuana legalization in New Jersey. If leaders in the legislature believe they have the votes to pass the bill, they plan to hold a vote on March 25.
The votes aren't there yet for the bill to pass. It's time to change that: Lawmakers need to hear from constituents who support replacing marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation.
The legalization bill would:
- Allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana;
- Set up a process for expungement for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana offenses;
- Establish a $42 tax per ounce on sales from cultivators; and
- Incentivize towns to allow marijuana businesses through local taxes.
The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations and Senate Judiciary Committees this Monday, March 18, where they will also hear bills on medical marijuana expansion.
Please email your elected officials to let them know you support ending marijuana prohibition. Then, forward this email to your friends and family. Together we can bring sensible marijuana laws to New Jersey.
As you know, the New Jersey Legislature has been grappling with how to best tax, regulate, and legalize marijuana for adults. Until recently, Governor Phil Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney were at a public impasse on a few key details of the bill. Recently, the two have come to a compromise to pass legalization this year. But they don't yet have the needed votes.
That's where you come in.
New Jersey is poised to be the first state in the nation to fully legalize marijuana (including regulated sales) through the legislative process. Please help make history by contacting your lawmakers today. Together, we can bring common sense marijuana policy reform to the Garden State.
Ask the governor and Senate president to compromise on the details and bring legalization up for a vote!
As you may have heard, the New Jersey Legislature will not be voting on marijuana legalization before the year’s end. While there is political will to pass legalization in New Jersey, lawmakers couldn’t agree on the details — including a tax rate — this year.
If you're a New Jersey residernt, please call Gov. Phil Murphy at 609-292-6000 and Senate President Stephen Sweeney at 856-251-9801 and ask that they come to a compromise and bring legalization up for a vote early next year. Marijuana prohibition has cost New Jersey millions of dollars and ruined thousands of lives. It’s time for it to end.
In better news, New Jersey regulators recently doubled the number of medical marijuana dispensaries (“ATCs”) from six to a total of 12. Patients will soon have more access to purchase the medicine that they need.
But it’s important that New Jersey legalizes marijuana to further improve access to this life-saving plant. New Jersey’s medical cannabis law remains among the most restrictive in the nation, and it leaves behind most pain patients. Please, reach out to the governor and Senate president and ask that they work out the details to swiftly end marijuana prohibition. Then, spread the word to others in New Jersey who can raise their voices for humane marijuana policies.
Historic vote! New Jersey Senate and Assembly Committees advance bills to legalize and regulate marijuana
If you live in New Jersey, please ask your lawmakers to vote to end marijuana prohibition.
Today, November 26, New Jersey’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee voted in favor of S2703 and A4497, which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over. Please click here to thank lawmakers who voted yes or ask your lawmakers to do so when the bill comes to up for a vote of the whole chamber. If New Jersey passes a bill this year, it will make history as the first state to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana through the legislature (as opposed to a ballot initiative).
This is not the end of the debate; even some of the lawmakers who abstained or voted no indicated they might reconsider, and some of those who voted yes said they still wanted to see additional changes to the bill. It’s critical that your lawmakers continue to hear from you. If you have a moment after you send an email, please consider calling your lawmakers as well. Their phone numbers are listed here.
In other good news, the Assembly also voted to advance an expungement bill that would make it easier for people to clear their records, which MPP also supported.
While the new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana has not yet been revealed to the public, lawmakers and the Murphy administration are reportedly close to reaching a deal. However, it is not yet clear what the legislature intends to do to help people who are still suffering from the collateral consequences of a prior marijuana conviction.
If you’re a New Jersey resident, please ask your lawmakers to support not only ending marijuana prohibition for adults moving forward, but also ensuring that those harmed by prohibition in the past are able to clear their records and move on with their lives.
New Jersey has been hotly debating the best way to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis since Gov. Phil Murphy made that an important part of his campaign in 2017. MPP continues to advocate for adopting the best practices of other states to ensure that legalization allows opportunities for people impacted by marijuana prohibition and small businesses, and we’re encouraged that these ideas are reportedly being included in the legislation.
However, we want to continue fighting to include criminal justice reform as well. If you live in New Jersey, please help by asking your legislators to include strong expungement provisions now.