WILL ON MARIJUANA
Recreational marijuana should be legal, and as the Democratic nominee I will unequivocally support the cannabis legalization referendum question on the November ballot.
I will fight to stimulate the South Jersey economy and remedy criminal justice inequities with racial and economic justice solutions.
In November, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted to end the prohibition on marijuana with historic House bill 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The criminalization of marijuana disproportionately affects communities of color, and is used as a weapon against those who already face an extreme disadvantage due to the structural racism built into our society.
I understand this firsthand as a Black male who grew up in South Jersey’s poorest district. I will fight to advance the MORE Act in order to decriminalize marijuana, expunge records, and invest in communities of color that have been hardest hit by the disproportionate enforcement of racist drug policies.
In places like Colorado where recreational marijuana has been made legal, research shows DUIs have gone down. In places like Portland, Oregon, communities have taken steps to address economic inequality by providing grants to entrepreneurs of color to create a more level playing field to address past wrongs. We must do the same across the nation and in New Jersey.
Additionally, regulations must allow for home grown cannabis that would greatly benefit medicinal marijuana patients by driving down treatment costs.
However, as a Congressional Investigator that specialized in consumer issues, there must be strong safeguards to ensure small growers that monetize their production are not endangering the public health. As with any consumer product, anyone that monetizes their own personal production will be responsible for ensuring their product is safe. The oversight and regulatory landscape must account for the growth of small businesses, as it does for all consumer products.
Lastly, federal regulations must make investing in cannabis companies safe and reliable. Passage of the BANKS Act is essential to give a strong economic foundation to the burgeoning cannabis industry. Short of federal recreational legalization, Congress must pass stop gap provisions such as the STATES Act to allow sovereign states to securely continue successfully launched cannabis industries that contribute to state tax revenue.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled support for bringing cannabis into the mainstream economy because she understands that jobs and economic stability are at stake. I will fight alongside her to make it a reality.