November 2019 update on cannabis in NJ

Here’s where we are with the insanity and injustice of cannabis law in our part of New Jersey right now.

The state’s next dispensary will open in about a month here in Vineland. Initially the facility will be open for training; its locally grown cannabis supply won’t be available until next year. The facility is financed and supported by some of the area’s most well-connected community leaders.

The state legislature in Trenton is again trying to decriminalize cannabis this month. The effort seems doomed to fail. Some legislators want to delay the decision until after the question is addressed in the 2020 election. New Jersey voters overwhelmingly support decriminalization but have not yet actually voted on the issue.

Meanwhile someone is arrested on cannabis charges every 14 minutes in New Jersey, according to a new analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. Most of those arrested are minorities. Local police activity reports show that cannabis possession arrests are still common and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office continues to prosecute cannabis cases as crimes. Legislation to end the 30,000 annual cannabis arrests is eventually expected to also expunge the records of those convicted in the past.

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