Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Nicholas Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following joint statement today announcing the introduction of legislation to seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey:
“We are moving forward with a plan to seek voter approval to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey. We introduced legislation today to authorize a public referendum for a proposal that will lead to the creation of a system that allows adults to purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes in a responsible way.
“This initiative will bring cannabis out of the underground so that it can be controlled to ensure a safe product, strictly regulated to limit use to adults and have sales subjected to the sales tax.
“We will have the Legislature vote on the plan during the current legislative session and expect the proposal to be on the ballot in 2020, when voter turnout will be maximized for the national election. We are confident it will be approved by the Senate, the Assembly and the voters.
“We made further attempts to generate additional support in the Senate to get this done legislatively, but we recognize that the votes just aren’t there. We respect the positions taken by legislators on what is an issue of conscience.
“We will now move forward with a plan that helps correct social and legal injustices that have had a discriminatory impact on communities of color. We can make real progress towards social justice at the same time that cannabis is made safe and legal.”