Our New Jersey neighbors voted on legalizing marijuana on their ballots this past November, and it won by a large majority.
According to the New York Times, 67% of residents voted for possessing and using recreational marijuana to become legal for people 21 and over in New Jersey. It was one of three ballot measures that were added as yes or no questions, along with voting for elected officials.
New Jersey was the first state to put the question directly on the ballot, after lawmakers couldn’t come to an agreement last year on the measure. The decision will amend the State’s constitution directly.
And yesterday, February 22, Governor Phil Murphy officially signed the cannabis reform bills into law. Act A1897 “legalizes and regulates cannabis use and possession for adults 21 years and older and decriminalizes marijuana and hashish possession,” and act S3454 “clarifies marijuana and cannabis use and possession penalties for individuals younger than 21 years old.”
Let me be blunt: Today, I signed historic adult-use cannabis reform bills into law – with social justice, racial justice, and economic justice leading the way.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 23, 2021
“This legislation will establish an industry that brings equity and economic opportunity to our communities, while establishing minimum standards for safe products and allowing law enforcement to focus their resources on real public safety matters,” continued Governor Murphy. “Today, we’re taking a monumental step forward to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, while building a promising new industry and standing on the right side of history. I’d like to thank the Legislature, advocates, faith leaders, and community leaders for their dedicated work and partnership on this critical issue.”
New Jersey was among three states who legalized recreational marijuana this Election cycle (Arizona and South Dakota included, according to CNN), and joins 11 total in the country. Montana also had ballot questions on recreational marijuana and Mississippi has a medical marijuana measure, but those results have not been called yet, according to CNN.
featured image source: Unsplash