(Trenton, NJ) – Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy renewed his call to legalize marijuana in the Garden State. In response, Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) issued the following statement:
“Last year, Governor Murphy promised to sign marijuana legalization into law within his first one hundred days in office. Today, we are one year into his administration and thanks to the efforts of SAM, New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP), and a host of other public health and safety groups, the governor has failed to make good on that promise.
As SAM and NJ-RAMP have repeatedly pointed out, marijuana legalization is not in the best interest of New Jerseyans, it only serves the interests of Big Marijuana and its Big Tobacco shareholders.
According to a poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University, the majority of New Jerseyans oppose the legalization of marijuana when given the choice between all options of marijuana policy. 53% of residents either want marijuana to remain illegal or be decriminalized while only 42% favor outright legalization.
“Governor Murphy has pushed for legalization based on two false premises: it will be a win for social justice and it will help solve the state’s budget shortfall. As we have seen in the handful of states that have legalized marijuana, social justice victories fail to materialize as the marijuana industry disproportionally targets low income and minority locations as its profit centers and arrest disparities continue. Moreover, the legal market fuels a thriving black market that then undercuts the promised tax revenue. No matter how you chose to slice it, states simply cannot regulate this industry.
“SAM and NJ-RAMP will continue working with influential leaders in New Jersey to push back against Governor Murphy’s reckless pro-pot agenda and strive to keep the Garden State from going to pot.”