The Assembly Oversight Reform and Federal Relations Committee held a hearing Thursday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize adult-use cannabis in New Jersey. Upon the conclusion of the public hearing, sponsor of the resolution (ACR-840) Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) released the following statement:
“The goal of this constitutional amendment is to provide the opportunity for the people of New Jersey to allow this state to adopt a new approach to our cannabis policies. With this amendment, we hope to place this question on next year’s ballot.
“We’ve seen in recent surveys that support for the legalization of adult-use cannabis is growing.
“In addition to the financial benefits that would come with legalization, there are critically important social justice components. Under our current laws, an unacceptably disproportionate number of black New Jersey residents are arrested for minor marijuana-related offenses which unfairly impact employment prospects, housing access, financial health and more.
“One potential remedy for this could be an expedited expungement process for offenses that would no longer be illegal, and this amendment would give the legislature the authority to make that process a reality.
“I want to thank those who provided their perspectives today by providing testimony not only in support of this resolution, but in opposition as well. This is a seismic shift. We would be creating, regulating and taxing a new industry, which is something I do not take lightly.”