FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 21, 2019
(Trenton, NJ) – Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reiterated his call to legalize marijuana in the state of New Jersey saying “We’re close, but we’re not there yet.”
Executive Director of New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP), Stephen Reid and Bishop Jethro James, Pastor of Paradise Baptist Church issued the following statement in response:
“The governor has been burning up the phones to try and get his push to legalize this drug over the finish line,” said Stephen Reid. “But he is not the only one doing so. Over the last few days and weeks, NJ-RAMP supporters have been calling and emailing their elected officials urging them to oppose this bill. In addition, we have been calling and emailing legislators who are boldly standing against this reckless proposal and thanking them for standing for public health and safety over the wishes of Big Marijuana and its promoters. The bill, which would place no limit on THC potency, allow for kid-friendly edibles, and set up pot lounges, would be a disaster for our state. The fact is, the governor does not have the votes. Leadership can load committees with pro-pot votes, but they cannot pull these tricks on the Senate floor. We fully expect this bill to be defeated once and for all on Monday.”
“Speakers at this press conference said that those who support marijuana legalization would be on the “right side of history” for this so-called win for social justice. In reality this is social injustice,” said Bishop Jethro James. “Supporting continued arrest disparities and an addiction-for-profit industry that targets people that look like me for profit doesn’t sound like being on the right side of history to me. Less than 3% of inmates in prisons are doing time for drugs, and they are not incarcerated for recreational use, they are incarcerated for distribution. This is a falsehood and a fraud perpetrated upon the African American and Latino communities in order for them to support the legalization of an addictive drug.”
NJ-RAMP is a coalition of individuals and associations who believe that the health, safety and economic consequences of recreational marijuana legalization far outweigh the perceived social benefits. The grassroots organization consists of medical doctors, community groups, treatment providers, drug prevention professionals, business owners, law enforcement officers, parents, religious leaders, and many others. For more information, visit www.nj-ramp.org.