These issues have been raised by a diverse and recently formed coalition — New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform — that is pushing for legalization of cannabis. The group’s members include medical professionals, law enforcement officials and representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The general message from the NJUMR is that New Jersey’s marijuana laws have failed, and that cannabis should be legalized, regulated and taxed.
At a recent press conference held to launch the coalition, it was estimated that $100 million in state revenue could be generated annually by legalizing and regulating marijuana in New Jersey.
The concern is not only monetary. Current marijuana laws carry a human cost.
For example, coalition members noted that, despite similar usage rates between the two groups, black people are three times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana. “The war on marijuana has failed,” said the president of the NAACP New Jersey state conference, “and this failure has had a devastating impact on black families.”
Reform of marijuana laws in New Jersey may still have a long way to go, as Gov. Christie strongly opposes legalization. The debate continues, though. You can read more about the claims from both sides in a recent article.
If you have been accused of a marijuana offense, then don’t hesitate to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your legal options. Early intervention is often crucial to reaching a favorable outcome in a criminal case.