Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on voters say yes to a ballot question to legalize marijuana, hoping New Jersey will “make history” and become the first state in the region have a legal weed market.
The governor appeared Thursday afternoon in a virtual panel with members of NJ CAN 2020, a coalition of activists, doctors, lobbyists and business interests that launched earlier this year to campaign in favor of the ballot question. State Sen. Nick Scutari, D-Union, who has long advocated for legalization, appeared on the panel as well.
The campaign and Murphy have highlighted racial justice issues as reasons to legalize. Police in New Jersey arrest some 100 people a day for marijuana-related offenses. And Black people are charged 3.5 times more often than white people, despite similar rates of use, studies show.
“The facts are on our side,” Murphy said. “The fact is that the current marijuana laws stifle both social justice and economic development.”
NJ CAN 2020 formed earlier this year, but the coronavirus outbreak soon after upended the election. Instead of holding events and door knocking, much of the campaign work has gone virtual. [Read more at NJ.com]