Policy Brief: Toward A People's Cannabis Economy
Should we Legalize Marijuana?
Public opinion polls in our state and across the country demonstrate that the majority of people oppose continued marijuana prohibition. It is a prohibition with racist rhetorical roots, aimed at safeguarding profits for the private prison and pharmaceutical industries. In practice, current laws are applied to disproportionately jail black and brown people.
Across the United States marijuana is becoming legal for medicinal and recreational uses. In many of those states, major corporations are mining this money-making opportunity.
As governor I will work to end the marijuana ban, but I will not pave the way for large pharmaceutical companies and the mega-rich to control this natural resource. Legalization of marijuana in New Jersey must be an opportunity for working people and people traditionally excluded from decent jobs.
For that reason, the Kaper-Dale/Durden Administration will work to:
1) Allow for small amounts of marijuana to be grown by individuals for personal use.
2) Tax marijuana profits in order to fund substance awareness/abuse programs and general youth drug prevention activities. This includes afterschool care, recreational programs, and art programs to engage our youth and contribute to their communities.
3) Prevent corporate control of the newly legalized industry by partnering as the state of New Jersey with communities of people stigmatized in the job market such as urban youth, transgender people, people with disabilities, and the formerly incarcerated to create co-owned businesses in the farming and sale of marijuana.
4) Past prison convictions will be reviewed and prisoners released if serving state sentences related to activities rendered legal under the new law.
Our administration will use marijuana legislation as a driving force in re-distributing economic ownership and social benefits to traditionally excluded and economically struggling groups.