By Dalton Rosario
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
Long Story Short. Legislative efforts to expand NJ’s medical cannabis program and expungements program fell through Monday, March 25th as the Legislature was not able to secure enough support, despite increasing momentum for legalizing adult cannabis consumption.
Gimme the Juice! The Democratic majority largely supported the emerging cannabis legislation; however, Democratic leaders representing predominately urban areas believed the bill did not do enough to aid lower socio-economic neighborhoods.
They argued the bill favored the profitability of the industry at large, rather than contributing to the betterment of communities of color targeted most directly by law enforcement.
So What’s the Bottom Line? State lawmakers are optimistic about adult cannabis consumption passing in New Jersey, but the question on everybody’s mind is how soon. Ideally, the vote would have been secured before NJ’s July 1st new state budget deadline.
But with the failed vote this past Monday, speculation has already hinted that such a heavily debated topic would be untouchable by Assembly members during re-election campaigns in the late summer and early Fall.
The next vote for the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act can come as soon as November.