Reverend Charles Boyer responds to legislature vote of cannabis legalization bill

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Boyer calls on Governor Murphy to expeditiously sign cannabis legalization bill after passage of bill in the state legislature

By David WildsteinDecember 17 2020 2:23 pm

TRENTON, NJ — Today, New Jersey’s cannabis legalization was passed by the New Jersey State Legislature. Reverend Dr. Charles F. Boyer, founding director of Salvation and Social Justice, released the following statement on the Committee’s review of the bill:

“Today is an historic day in New Jersey, as the long-awaited cannabis legalization bill has finally been passed by our state legislature after years of hard fought efforts. This is just the first step in restoring justice for communities that have been most devastated by the War on Drugs across our state for decades. And while our work to repair the damage done by the drug war is far from over, today is a moment for celebration.

“For too long, our brothers and sisters have suffered at the hands of racist policies that criminalized Black and Latinx people as drugs were funneled into our communities. Our loved ones have been thrown in prison at disproportionate numbers over soon-to-be-legalized cannabis and countless lives have been destroyed because of arcane laws. But New Jersey voters spoke out, and now I am hopeful that we are beginning a new era for our state.

“Through hard fought advocacy from people with lived experience, criminal justice activists, community organizers, and faith leaders alike, we were able to reshape this bill. State elected officials responded to our continued calls to include equity and racial reparative justice provisions in legalization. These provisions equip New Jersey with tools to right the wrongs of the past and offers a framework for Black and Latinx communities to successfully participate in the new cannabis markets as they open and grow. Through this bill, 70% of the sales tax revenue as well as an excise tax will be directly used to fund programming in communities most impacted by New Jersey’s drug war.

“We look forward to Governor Murphy signing this bill into law expeditiously. This legislation alone will not end New Jersey’s history of institutional racism, but this is a critical step in our path forward. There can be no more delays in the progress to legalize and decriminalize cannabis.”

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