Tuesday November 3rd, all NJ registered voters (REGISTER!) will receive a ballot by mail (due to the pandemic). On that ballot, a simple question will be posed:
"Do you approve amending the (state) Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'?" according to thesunpapers.com.
This would apply to adults 21 and older. According to the article, the complex subject of legalization would be dwindled down to a simple question in which most of the details would be worked out on the other end. Subjects like expungement, location, and timeline would not be available on November 4th if passed. There would not be home grow; grow licenses would be necessary and overseen by the newly formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission. We also do not know if vertical distribution, where the grower would need to be the one to distribute the product, would be the cornerstone of the recreational market. We do not know what the tax rate would be. We would not know if some of the tax and fee burden would lighten for medicinal marijuana participants. According to Raymond of Moorestown's Raymond Coleman Heinold LLC the cannabis commission would use processes used for medical cultivators and distributors to recreational marijuana.
Obviously some of this is great news. We may help break down cultural norms that say cannabis, in any form, is negative. There are some perceived downsides. We know we need more dispensaries in our area - long lines, a pandemic with some of the most vulnerable patients as we near the winter. If the process will literally be the same, we might wait years for recreational to open its doors. Financial equity is another concern, as we have learned from states that have legalized before us. Access in neighborhoods with the longest historical effects of anti-marijuana laws is also important. All this being said, you all will have to reach your own conclusion about what may or may not happen if this passes; furthermore whether those imaginary happenings are even endpoints that you like. With these guesses, you all will make the choice- thumbs up or down. Good luck!
Sidenote: Mail in ballots can be drop off at specific locations detailed in your county. If you use the postal service the state is recommending that you complete your ballot and mail it ASAP. Lastly, that ballot can be taken to your open polling location (check for changes) for your area and given to a poll worker there if you are concerned about timeliness aka you're late.
Close Voting Information Links:
Camden County: https://www.camdencounty.com/service/voting-and-elections/
Burlington County: https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/593/Election-Voter-Services
Gloucester County: http://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/depts/e/eoff/supelec/default.asp
Voter Registration: https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voter-registration.shtml