New Jersey Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation on Tuesday legalizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older in New Jersey.
In a statement, Murphy said, “Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis.”
New Jersey’s legislation also fully decriminalizes marijuana. “Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” Murphy said, referencing the fact that many Americans are currently in prison for non-violent drug crimes, thousands for marijuana.
“Too many people have been arrested, incarcerated and left with criminal records that disrupt and even destroy their lives. We don’t want the criminal justice system to be an unfair barrier to success,” said State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D) soon after the governor’s decision.
New Jersey is the 13th state to legalize marijuana and it is the first of the tri-state area including itself, New York and Connecticut.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) praised Murphy’s signing of the legislation. “The failed War on Drugs has systematically targeted people of color and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities and hurting families in New Jersey and across our nation,” Booker said, calling on the U.S. Senate “to end the federal marijuana prohibition so we can finally begin healing the wounds of decades of injustice.”