Will New Jersey Legalize Weed in November?

Over 60% of registered voters in New Jersey say that they intend to vote in favour of cannabis legalization in November.

At the end of last year, a measure was passed in the New Jersey state Senate which would allow New Jersey residents to decide whether marijuana should be legalized in the state's 2020 ballot.

The ballot is scheduled to occur in November and would amend New Jersey's Constitution to permit the possession, production, and retail sale of cannabis to those age 21 or older. Moreover, it's looking like the ballot may indeed be approved, with polling data from Monmouth University showing that 61% of respondents saying that they will vote for the measure.

The ballot question to push for the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey is as follows: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'? Only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. The State commission created to oversee the State's medical cannabis program would also oversee the new, personal use cannabis market. Cannabis products would be subject to the State sales tax. If authorized by the Legislature, a municipality may pass a local ordinance to charge a local tax on cannabis products."

Monmouth's poll revealed that New Jersey's marijuana legalization efforts were most supported by Democratic voters, of which 74% were in favour of the bill, and Independents, with 64%. Only 40% of Republican voters supported the bill.

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Should the bill pass in New Jersey's November ballot, New Jersey would join the other eleven U.S. states that have legalized cannabis for recreational consumption, with Illinois being the most recent example.

While other states like New York and Connecticut have delayed their legislative efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey may be able to look at recent examples such as Illinois, or cannabis dispensaries in general with their heightened sales and see many positives to be gained by legalizing the plant.

Similarly, Mexico will also have the opportunity around November to legalize the plant for recreational purposes, potentially making it the 3rd country to do so on a Federal level, though New Zealand could beat them to the punch with their own cannabis referendum in September this year.

Should Mexico, New Zealand, and New Jersey legalize cannabis for recreational purposes, 2020 will have been an enormous year for cannabis legalization efforts – despite global events hampering several legislative attempts.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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