State Sen. Ron Rice (D-Newark) urged his colleagues to decriminalize marijuana following voters’ approval of a legalization referendum last week.
“The voters approved legalizing adult-use marijuana last week, so now it is time we decriminalize it so that folks in Black and Brown communities across the state do not continue to be disproportionately arrested for possession,” he said. “Decriminalization is the long-sought remedy for rampant injustice in our state. If social justice was truly the primary focus surrounding adult-use marijuana, now is the time to act.”
On Monday, lawmakers advanced a bill that would decriminalize marijuana use, which still remains illegal following the successful legalization referendum.
Rice, a legalization opponent, has long backed decriminalization, which does not allow for legal marijuana sales.
“I am proud of the strong and diverse coalition of legislators and social justice activists who are fighting for equality in this state and will continue to do so well after this bill becomes law,” he said.