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Pot business group backs expungement bill

By Nikita Biryukov, January 30 2019 1:38 pm

The New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association is fully behind the expungement bill that’s part of the legislatures marijuana legalization package.

“New Jersey has the opportunity to become the national model on how best to position cannabis legalization as a source for social and restorative justice in communities devastated by the failed war on drugs,” NJCIA Hugh O’Beirne said. “The expungement of non-violent cannabis-related criminal offenses is morally essential and is a critically important first step in this process.”

The legalization bill package has been stalled in the legislature since late November, when the bills advanced through a bicameral committee.

Democrats pushing the measure lacked the votes needed to pass the bill before a full Senate. That may change with the State Sen. Dawn Addiego’s (D-Evesham) switch to the Democratic party, but so far, all has been quiet on that front.

“Our legislature is considering a cannabis legalization bill that includes significant provisions mandating the expungement of cannabis related criminal records and promoting meaningful avenues for broad minority participation in the legal cannabis industry,” O’Beirne said. “Criminal record expungements and minority business participation in the legal cannabis industry can’t make up for decades of social injustice — but it’s a necessary starting point.  Our legislature is addressing these issues as part of carefully crafted, comprehensive cannabis legalization legislation that will deeply benefit the people of New Jersey.”

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