But decriminalization of marijuana also has supporters in the New Jersey legislature. Senators Ronald Rice and Robert Singer have spearheaded bills to decriminalize marijuana and the bills have sponsorship support.
Decriminalization has the opportunity to address racial inequities in arrests for the possession of marijuana. Studies have shown that African-Americans account for a disproportionate number of marijuana arrests in New Jersey, even though whites and blacks use the drug at similar rates.
The passage of marijuana legalization provides the opportunity to address legal justice, economic access, housing, substance abuse and mental health treatment and access to support services. Each of these cornerstones could have a significant and direct impact on stabilizing communities and creating opportunities for those directly impacted by drug policies and disparate targeting by law enforcement.
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