Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin issued the following statement regarding the important social justice aspects of the adult-use cannabis and expungement bills before the legislature:
“The status quo has been disproportionately unfair to our minority communities. This bill is a step in the right direction to correct that inequality. This will help to create a pathway to economic growth for all communities while addressing social justice concerns. We would create an accessible path to expungement for those who were charged with a minor cannabis possession crime prior to the law.
“There have been far too many people, especially those from Black and Hispanic communities, who have been negatively impacted by the criminalization of cannabis. The inequalities in the enforcement of cannabis laws are not acceptable. There are long term impacts on the lives of all people in this state, but significantly those of color.
“It is time we listen to the will of the majority of New Jerseyans and take a common-sense approach to regulation of cannabis. This bill represents that approach.”