Atlantic County Democrats slammed State Sen. Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor) for his vote against the implementation of marijuana legalization, the latest in a series of recent criticisms signaling the start of their bid to unseat the Republican legislator next year.
“The ‘War on Drugs’ has been a complete and utter failure,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “Not only did it not reduce drug use, but it disproportionately hurt communities of color like Atlantic City and Pleasantville.”
Suleiman says that the bill approved by the Senate on Thursday “dedicates 70 percent of the sales tax revenue and 100 percent of the social equity excise fees to communities like ours, bringing much-needed jobs and ratables to Atlantic City and Pleasantville.”
“That’s why it’s disheartening for Senator Brown to vote against a bill that would help reverse generations of discriminatory drug policies,” Suleiman said. “Clearly Senator Brown is not as socially progressive as he portrays himself to be.”
Brown, a Republican representing a district that also elects two Democratic assemblymen, is high on the Democratic target list if they can find the right candidate to challenge him.
A U.S. Army veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War and in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Brown served three terms in the Assembly before ousting interim State Sen. Colin Bell (D-Northfield) by 3,544 votes in 2017.
A November 3 referendum the legalization of adult use recreation marijuana passed in Atlantic County with 69% of the vote.