The saga continues.
Just when you thought New Jersey lawmakers were finally ready to move forward on marijuana legalization and decriminalization, Governor Murphy’s call for harsher penalties for underage possession have brought the legislation’s advancement to a screeching halt.
Two “cleanup bills” were set to be voted upon by the full legislature on Monday, but S3320 and A5211 no longer appear on the posted Board list. for January 11th. NJ.com has the details on how the agreement to advance the bills fell apart today.
Assemblyman Jamel Holley, a steadfast supporter for cannabis legalization and vocal advocate for communities of color, released a strongly-worded statement in response to today’s developments: “The Senate and Assembly have been working very closely on two marijuana legalization bills that will have a significant benefit on the state. In the 11th hour, the governor has proposed legislation that will disproportionally and unfairly hurt communities of color. The governor can’t hold legislation hostage in an effort to further target over-policed communities and place a de facto tax on poor people whose children may suffer from drug abuse and addiction. This proposal is regressive, draconian and ethically perverse. It is my sincere hope that this governor reconsiders his proposed conditions to this bill, which appears more focused on generating revenue from poor people than safeguarding public health.”