Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka are continuing to advocate for marijuana legalization, though they are calling for the bill to include new language that would require all non-violent marijuana arrests to be expunged automatically.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This legislation has the ability to give hope and new beginnings to communities that have historically dealt with the impacts of failed drug policy and the criminalization of communities of color, disenfranchised and poor communities which have disproportionately been impacted,” Baraka and Fulop said in a statement today.
“While we support this legislation, it is with the assurance from our leaders at the State level that they understand that more work must be done. No matter Monday’s outcome, our stance still remains that the state must be diligent in creating the mechanism to ensure that the expungement process is automatic for all non-violent cannabis arrests.”
The state legislature has discussed legalizing marijuana for the better part of the last year, but no variation of the bill has even made it up for a vote yet.
Despite this fact, the assembly and senate are scheduled to vote on the measure during their respective sessions on Monday, though many remain skeptical that the bill will advance.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who has advocated for marijuana legalization for months, told NJ Biz that if Monday’s vote fails, his administration will pursue expanding the state’s medical marijuana program.