N.J.’s leading legal weed advocates are doing to ensure the ballot question passes in November

Advocates and stakeholders in the weed industry will form a campaign coalition calling for a racial and social justice approach to marijuana legalization as New Jersey residents prepare to vote on the issue later this year.

The group, NJ CAN 2020, will focus on bringing diverse voices to the table in support of legalizing pot for those over the age of 21, NJ Advance Media learned Monday.

The coalition will feature members of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, including the ACLU of New Jersey, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, the Latino Action Network, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference and the NJ CannaBusiness Association.

They will call for routes to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in a way that builds “an inclusive, diverse, robust campaign leading to a “yes” vote to the 2020 ballot question on legalizing cannabis,” according to Monday’s announcement.

State lawmakers tried for more than a year to pass a bill legalizing marijuana for those over the age of 21, but fell short of votes in the Senate. Instead, they voted late last year to pose the question to voters on the November 2020 ballot.

While some two-thirds of voters nationwide say they support legalizing marijuana, activists have urged against complacency.

“Folks can’t take for granted the fact that legalization is going to happen in New Jersey,” Amol Sinha, the executive director New Jersey’s ACLU branch, told NJ Cannabis Insider last week. “That’s something that we need to work diligently on.”

The coalition aims to diversify the discussion around legalized marijuana, and said it will particularly focus on ensuring those impacted by years of harsh drug policy and discriminatory enforcement that led to the disproportionate arrest of minorities have a say.

Even now, as lawmakers work on a bill to decriminalize marijuana ahead of the November election, police continue to arrest some 94 people for marijuana offenses daily in New Jersey.

Members of NJ CAN 2020 will be in attendance at the NJ Cannabis Insider Live! The Road to Legalization presented by Curaleaf NJ in Edison Tuesday, where industry leaders and experts will talk about the current medical marijuana market, the emerging hemp and CBD industries and efforts to legalize pot.

NJ Cannabis Insider is a weekly newsletter published by NJ Advance Media, which also provides content for NJ.com and The Star-Ledger. Those in attendance Tuesday will include Sarah Fajardo, policy director of the ACLU-NJ, David Nathan president of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Scott Rudder, president of the NJ CannaBusiness Association, Bill Caruso managing director of Archer Public Affairs and Lynn Nowak, executive vice president, of Porzio Governmental Affairs.

All credit to Amanda Hoover | NJ Advance Media For NJ.com Find original posting here.