New Jersey legislative leaders have publicly suggested their intention to move the legalization of recreational marijuana forward during the lame duck session that will immediately follow the Assembly elections in early November. In other words, the decades long irresponsible mismanagement of state budgets will now fall heavily on the most at-risk groups and communities. Big tobacco, big investments firms, and national corporations will benefit at the expense of our youth and underserved urban communities. Legalized pot will place corporate profits over people. This is not a grievous byproduct of an otherwise healthy public policy. Sadly, it is the precise purpose of the law.
According to U.S. News and World Report, “for the fifth year in a row New Jersey is the most fiscally unsound state in the country, as massive unfunded pension liabilities and retiree health care obligations have crippled the state’s finances.”
Tragically, the proposed solution to this fiscal crisis is to generate new tax revenue and increase corporate investment by putting at risk public safety, while ignoring the historical trends of lethal youth usage and the negative effect on communities of color.
Bishop Jethro James – Paradise Baptist Church
Bishop Jethro James, senior pastor of Paradise Baptist Church in Newark and a key partner in the coalition against recreational marijuana has said, “Creating a ‘Big Marijuana’ type industry would hurt minority communities by bringing more drugs into our neighborhoods and our homes. The marijuana and the alcohol industries routinely target vulnerable communities as its profit centers. We don’t need to add fuel to fire. We have seen the effect in this state and other states in the advertising industry targeting these communities. You will not find a liquor store on every corner in the governor’s community. ‘Not in my backyard’ is alive and well in NJ.”
Cleary, the disregard for the general welfare of society to enrich well-connected law firms and billion-dollar entrepreneurs is morally unacceptable. We must not allow lawmakers to devastate the Garden State!
Equally troubling is the Federal Government’s attempt to pass the SAFE Banking Act that would financially legitimize the marijuana industry. NJ Senator Robert Menendez (D) sits on the Senate Banking Committee. Please email Sen. Menendez and Sen. Booker to respectfully request that they both vote “no” on the SAFE Banking Act, S. 1200. You can send the message in just a few moments on our Action Center.
Thank you for taking action to protect our youth and most vulnerable citizens!
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
Director of Alliances – Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Founder & Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council