New Jersey Voters: Take Action on Legalization

By David Jenison on January 25, 2018

Pro-legalization candidate Phil Murphy easily won the gubernatorial race in New Jersey last November, and lawmakers did not waste time introducing cannabis legislation a week before he took office. The measure (identical to one introduced in the previous legislative session) would legalize certain amounts of recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older. 

Now that the Democrats control the state legislature and governorship, many expected legalization to pass quickly, but it appears not all the Senate Democrats are on the same page. Several said they would vote to uphold cannabis prohibition. These legislators include Joseph Vitale (Middlesex), Jeff Van Drew (Cape May), Ronald Rice (Essex), Richard Codey (Essex), Brian Stack (Hudson County) and Shirley Turner (Mercer), while other Nicholas Sacco (Hudson County) and James Beach (Camden) are on the fence. 

If you live in one of these districts, please contact your state senator, and let them know you support full cannabis legalization. Most people don't follow what's happening in their state senate, so any contact with state officials will likely have more impact than it might with a U.S. senator or House member. 

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts' 3rd District, several congressional candidates are competing to replace Niki Tsongas in November, but not all the Democrats support legalization. Dan Koh, Barbara L’Italien, Nadeem Mazen and Rufus Gifford are among the Dems in favor of legalization, while Steven Panagiotakos and Lori Trahan prefer prohibition (and presumably Big Pharma). The primary takes place on September 4, so if you live in the 3rd, make your vote count. 

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