Leading progressive organizations – including Progressive Democrats of New Jersey, Action Together New Jersey, and BlueWave New Jersey –  committed to building a fairer, more prosperous New Jersey have joined NJ CAN 2020, a campaign focused on addressing these goals by ending the prohibition on adult-use cannabis.

These progressive organizations join an already diverse coalition of community leaders, including civil rights organizations, law enforcement, doctors, labor unions, and cannabis industry leaders, all working to educate voters on Public Question 1 on November’s ballot, which would legalize adult-use cannabis in the state and is supported by nearly two-thirds of New Jersey voters.

“The criminalization of cannabis has been a political act to oppress inner city and urban communities for decades. The 1983 and 1994 Crime Bills under Reagan and Clinton formalized the use of low-level drug possession into a war against inner city communities,” said Jonathan Gibson, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of New Jersey. “This legacy of both political parties is a stain against the idea of justice and the moral fabric of America. We must dismantle these systems of oppression if we are to live up to our potential as a free and moral society. I am glad to bring the resources of PDNJ and our chapters to passing cannabis legalization.”

The ballot question comes with an implementation plan to regulate cannabis cultivation from seed to sale, which will regulate the illicit market while advancing social justice goals and creating new business opportunities and jobs for people of color, who are disproportionately affected by current cannabis laws.

“The prohibition of cannabis has led to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown communities – especially in New Jersey. Despite evidence that Black people and White people use cannabis at about the same rate, Black people are arrested at a rate three times higher than White people,” said Moira Nelson, Director of Drug Policy Reform, Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ). “The debilitating costs of a small cannabis possession conviction become even more problematic when they disproportionately impact communities of color. As an organization, we fully support the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in the state of New Jersey and we are proud to be aligned with the NJ CAN 2020 coalition.”

In addition to addressing social justice inequities in New Jersey’s prosecution of cannabis cases, the NJ CAN coalition is committed to delivering new economic opportunities for marginalized communities, new jobs for residents, and much-needed tax revenue for the state.

“As an organization that is committed to equity and justice, we are proud to join the NJ CAN 2020 campaign,” said Marcia Marley, President of BlueWave NJ. “While legalization alone is not a panacea for the overcriminalization of communities of color, it is a first step. This ballot question will apply equity in how our cannabis laws are implemented, and deliver economic opportunities and new jobs for residents, particularly those harmed the most by the prohibition on cannabis.”

New Jersey would become the twelfth state ‒ plus Washington, DC ‒ to legalize adult-use cannabis with passage of the ballot measure.

New Endorsers include:

  • Progressive Democrats of New Jersey
  • Progressive Democrats of Bergen County
  • Progressive Democrats of Burlington County
  • Progressive Democrats of Essex County
  • Progressive Democrats of Hudson County
  • Progressive Democrats of Middlesex County
  • Progressive Democrats of Morris County
  • Progressive Democrats of Passaic County
  • Progressive Democrats of Union County
  • Action Together New Jersey
  • Action Together Atlantic County
  • Action Together Bergen County
  • Action Together Burlington County
  • Action Together Camden County
  • Action Together Cape May County
  • Action Together Essex County
  • Action Together Gloucester County
  • Action Together Hudson County
  • Action Together Hunterdon County
  • Action Together Mercer County
  • Action Together Middlesex County
  • Action Together Shore Area
  • Action Together Morris County
  • Action Together Ocean County
  • Action Together Passaic County
  • Action Together Salem/Cumberland County
  • Action Together Somerset County
  • Action Together Sussex County
  • Action Together Union County
  • Action Together Warren County
  • BlueWave NJ
  • Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey
  • SOMA Action
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • NJ-08 for Progress

For more information on NJ CAN 2020 or vote-by-mail, visit https://www.njcan2020.org/.

Follow NJ CAN on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About NJ CAN 2020

NJ CAN 2020 represents a coalition of New Jersey voters committed to creating fairness in the administration of the state’s marijuana laws and cannabis industry. We want to end the prohibition on marijuana in New Jersey and foster a regulated cannabis market that encourages inclusion for entrepreneurs across the state and creates good jobs and a new taxing authority for local governments when they need it most.