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Photo: Matas de Cáñamo.

Cannabis legalization campaign launches new website

Voters set to decide in November 2020 referendum

By David Wildstein, August 04 2020 5:04 pm

The campaign to pass a referendum to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has launched a new interactive website to build grassroots support for the November general election.

NJCAN2020.org is set up as a virtual clearinghouse to help voters learn more about cannabis legalization.  The site will also provide a platform for grassroots organizing and a dialogue with stakeholders.

“The question of marijuana legalization, already urgent, now takes on pivotal importance at our current historic moment, and NJCAN2020.org will help New Jerseyans cross the finish line to create a more just, more prosperous, more equitable state,” said NJ CAN 2020 campaign manager Axel Owen. “Right now, with the pandemic upending the traditional campaign playbook, our site will allow voters to access information directly and enlist volunteers to make legalization a reality here in New Jersey.”

In 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration projected legal weed would generate $60 million in tax revenue between January and June of this year if passed.

The urgency of the revenues have likely increased exponentially as the state deals with massive economic setbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational use languished in Trenton and eventually died last year after Senate Democrats failed to secure 21 votes to pass it.

Instead, the legislature choose to put legalization on the ballot for 2020, with a lower tax rate than was present in last year’s legalization bill.

Supporters and opponents of legal cannabis still have their work cut out for them.

The referendum to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use had a 61%-34% lead, according to a Monmouth University poll released in April.

Slightly less than half of the state (48%) think it’s a good idea to allow anyone over age 21 to purchase small quantities of marijuana for personal use from businesses that have been licensed by the state to sell cannabis.  While 30 of New Jerseyans view the plan as a bad idea, nearly one-quarter of the state (22%) still have no opinion.

The new website will also help inform voters about the referendum, as well as details for voter registration, in-person voting – if that’s a thing this fall, or voting by mail.

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