Prohibition has failed us.
Thousands of New Jerseyans report using cannabis routinely, yet we’re making record numbers of arrests each year. The consequences of a cannabis arrest and conviction are dire. A simple possession conviction can lead to prison time, hefty fines and fees, drivers license suspension, immigration consequences, loss of financial aid for school, family consequences including a ban from adoption and loss of custody, and a ban from public housing. Legalizing would mitigate and eliminate these consequences and would reduce the criminal and civil penalties that disrupt lives. It would also significantly reduce unnecessary interactions with police that so often escalate and lead to bad outcomes, especially for Black and Brown New Jerseyans.
Regulation of a legalized market and industry will allow for stringent quality control and best practices, better ensuring a safer product than an unregulated market. It would also limit the ability of those underage from obtaining cannabis designed for adult use. All of this would promote public health and safety.