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Reader: New Jersey should not prosecute citizens for cannabis

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Reader: New Jersey should not prosecute citizens for cannabis

Marijuana

I recently retired after a higher education career in the Garden State, where soon it will be legal to get high from cannabis. I served as a National Education Association/New Jersey Education Association union officer. I know it is a good thing for civil rights and the economy to legalize. Perhaps my former employer, Brookdale Community College, could offer some cannabis horticulture, law, and business courses? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time there would be marijuana on campus.
Now that visionary Gov. Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders are in agreement on key provisions necessary for adult use cannabis legalization to move forward, Murphy should issue a blanket pardon to all persons convicted of cannabis offenses, and Attorney General Gubir Grewal must order police and prosecutors to no longer arrest or prosecute citizens for cannabis.
It is a waste of limited law enforcement and judicial resources to keep filing new cases in the system for something that is about to be legalized, with records that will be expunged.
It must be ensured that poor people and people with criminal records are not locked out of the industry, as has been the case in some other states where only rich white people are able to get licenses. As an NAACP member, I know we need social justice, not “Caucasian Cannabis Corporations” run by “cannabaggers” like the current overpriced, low quality medical shops in New Jersey are. We need to let people affordably grow their own organic stone at home.
Carol “Kitty” Hafner
Alaska
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