Turn the Sheet Around: Marijuana Ballot Question on Flip Side
New Jersey registered voters recently received a mail-in ballot form for the November election. A lot of voters are excited about the vote to legalize marijuana. However, there is one unexpected obstacle to this vote – you have to turn the ballot over to the other side to vote on marijuana! There has been a lot of talk about voters missing this critical vote. In the excitement of voting for President and local school boards, many NJ voters forget to turn the ballot over and vote for marijuana.
The ballot statements reads:1
“CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA
Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’?
Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The State commission created to oversee the State’s medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market.
Cannabis products would be subject to the State sales tax. If authorized by the Legislature, a municipality may pass a local ordinance to charge a local tax on cannabis products.”
NJ CAN 2020 is a campaign to pass the marijuana law this year. Why vote yes? NJ CAN outlines 3 main reasons:2
Advance racial and social justice: “By eliminating these arrests, taxing and regulating cannabis will address the harms of racial disparities in our troubled criminal justice system.” NJ makes over 37,000 cannabis-related arrests per year. Most arrests are for possession. Despite similar cannabis usage rates, Black people are arrested at a rate 3.5 times higher than white people.
Strengthen public health and safety: “Prohibition has failed us.” A possession conviction can lead to prison time, large fines, license suspension, immigration problems, financial aid loss, loss of custody, and public housing ban. Legalizing marijuana would eliminate these consequences and reduce unnecessary interactions with the police. Regulating a legalized market will allow for strict quality control and safer products while limiting underage use.
Foster economic development: “Legalizing cannabis for adult use will reduce costs, create jobs, and generate revenue for New Jersey.” We can lower costs on dealing with cannabis-related offenses, create thousands of jobs all over NJ, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the state.
The ACLU of NJ and NJ CAN 2020 launched a campaign called “#TurnThePage,” reminding voters to “turn the page” on marijuana prohibition, and simply turn the page on the ballot.3
On September 30, Governor Murphy expressed his support on his Twitter page and used the hashtag #TurnThePage to remind voters to vote for marijuana. His tweet stated, “It’s clear that marijuana prohibition is causing serious, lasting damage to our state. Now, we have an opportunity to fix that and finally legalize adult-use marijuana in NJ. Vote Yes on Question 1. #TurnThePage”4
An October 5 Tweet was similar: “Legalizing adult-use marijuana is up to all of us. Remember to vote Yes on Public Question 1 on your vote by mail ballot – you may need to flip to the second page to find the questions. #TurnThePage.”4
As you exercise your right to vote, don’t forget to flip the page and vote yes for question 1 to legalize adult-use marijuana!
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