New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed into regulation laws legalizing and regulating the use and possession of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older.
The laws additionally decriminalizes marijuana and cannabis possession, his workplace announced Monday.
“Our present marijuana prohibition legal guidelines have failed each check of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use hashish,” Murphy mentioned in an announcement.
“Sustaining a establishment that enables tens of 1000’s, disproportionately folks of colour, to be arrested in New Jersey every year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” he added.
“This November, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly in help of making a well-regulated adult-use hashish market. Though this course of has taken longer than anticipated, I imagine it’s ending in the suitable place and can finally function a nationwide mannequin.”
In response to the Asbury Park Press, the transfer makes New Jersey the 13th state within the nation to legalize the drug for grownup leisure use.
New Jersey residents voted final November in favor of a constitutional modification permitting for the possession, sale and use of hashish of residents ages 21 and over, making state the primary to cross marijuana legalization as a poll measure.
Murphy, who has served as governor of the Backyard State since 2018, pushed for its legalization throughout his marketing campaign. Nevertheless, the difficulty was placed on the 2020 basic election poll after it didn’t garner sufficient help within the state legislature.
In his announcement on Monday, Murphy referred to as the state’s transfer to legalize the drug a “monumental step ahead to scale back racial disparities in our legal justice system, whereas constructing a promising new business and standing on the suitable facet of historical past.”
In response to an analysis from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) greater than 7 million folks within the nation had been arrested for possession between 2001 and 2010.
Regardless of Black and white folks within the U.S. utilizing marijuana at roughly the identical charge on the time, in line with the evaluation, Black folks had been nearly 4 occasions extra more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerGarland commits to combatting systemic racism New Jersey governor indicators payments legalizing marijuana LIVE COVERAGE: Senate set to contemplate Garland for AG MORE (D-N.J.) applauded Murphy in addition to the efforts of state legislators on the difficulty.
“The failed Conflict on Medication has systematically focused folks of colour and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities and hurting households in New Jersey and throughout our nation,” Booker mentioned, whereas additionally vowing to work along with his colleagues within the Senate “to finish the federal marijuana prohibition so we are able to lastly start therapeutic the injuries of a long time of injustice.”
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D), whom Murphy’s workplace billed as “main advocate of legalizing adult-use marijuana” up to now 10 years, mentioned the transfer will “usher in a brand new period of social justice by putting off the failed coverage that criminalized using marijuana.”
“Too many individuals have been arrested, incarcerated and left with legal data that disrupt and even destroy their lives. We don’t need the legal justice system to be an unfair barrier to success,” he mentioned.
One of many payments signed by Murphy on Monday, A1897, contains reforms for legal and civil penalties for marijuana and cannabis offenses, his workplace mentioned, and “gives treatments for folks at the moment dealing with sure marijuana expenses.”
The laws, his workplace additionally said, will forestall “illegal low-level distribution and possession offenses from being utilized in pretrial launch, probation, and parole choices and gives sure protections in opposition to discrimination in employment, housing, and locations of public lodging.”
It moreover gives a path for lively sentences for sure offenses that had been dedicated previous to the laws’s implementation to be vacated.
One other invoice signed by Murphy on Monday, S3454, clarifies “penalties for marijuana and hashish possession and consumption for people youthful than 21 years outdated,” his workplace mentioned.
The transfer comes a few 12 months after Murphy signed laws into regulation that sealed data of low-level marijuana convictions as soon as a sentence has been served.
Carly Wolf, state insurance policies supervisor for Nationwide Group for the Reform of Marijuana Legal guidelines, mentioned on Monday that the laws signed by Murphy was “lengthy overdue.”
“Now, going ahead, tens of 1000’s of in any other case law-abiding New Jerseyans will not be topic to arrest and a legal file for his or her private use of marijuana, and the business market can be regulated in a good and inclusive method,” Wolf added in an announcement.
“For the final fifty years, marijuana criminalization has been used as a software to propel mass incarceration,” state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-N.J.) additionally mentioned in an announcement. “It has carried out immeasurable hurt to Black and Brown communities across the nation, and at present we start to proper the ship right here in New Jersey.”
“I stay up for seeing the tangible influence this laws has on our communities within the years to return,” she added.
Up to date at 2:29 p.m.