adult-use cannabis

New Jerseyans have voted to legalize adult-use cannabis by a significant margin, thus ending prohibition in the Garden State.

With 62.5 percent of precincts reporting on November 4th at 1:05 AM,  support for cannabis has reached 66.96 percent with 1,728,560 votes to 33.04 percent and  

853,034 votes against legalization. While not all the votes have been counted, it would be impossible for prohibition to win.

This is a landslide that makes a mandate. When a candidate wins by a landslide, it is argued that voters not only approve the candidate but approve the candidate’s agenda and want it approved. That’s a mandate.

“Today, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize cannabis for adult use. This is a vital first step for shifting away from punitive cannabis prohibition and toward a regulated market that prioritizes racial and social justice,” said ACLU-NJ Campaign Strategist Ami Kachalia on behalf of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR).

In the coming weeks, legislators must pass legislation to implement cannabis. The details still have to be decided.  

“We call on New Jersey legislators and the Governor to implement the vision of cannabis legalization that voters have pushed forward – one that begins to repair the harms of marijuana prohibition and creates an accessible and inclusive new cannabis industry,” Kachalia said. “In determining the details of implementation, lawmakers must include expungement, community reinvestment, and meaningful opportunities for those most harmed by unjust enforcement of marijuana laws to enter into the industry.

NJUMR is a wide coalition fighting for adult-use cannabis. It is led by the ALCU-NJ that includes the NJ NAACP, the Latino Action Network (which I represent full disclosure), Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Salvation and Social Justice, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

“Legislators must pass a robust decriminalization bill to protect residents in the lead-up to full implementation of legalization, which will likely take months to put into place,” Kachalia said.

The NJUMR has been consistently leading the fight for a just legalization in Trenton.

“New Jersey must stop the cannabis-related arrests that take place, on average, every fifteen minutes in our state. After decades of prohibition, the voters have made clear that it is time to end unjust and unnecessary cannabis-related arrests,” Kachalia said.

Governor Phil Murphy tweeted his delight at adult-use cannabis.

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