PASTORS, NEWARK-AREA OFFICIALS, SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATES CALL ON GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY TO “LET OUR PEOPLE FREE” BY DECRIMINALIZING POT AND REJECTING LEGALIZATION
Leaders Rally for Pardons of Those Convicted of Marijuana Crimes,
Urge Governor to Separate Issue from Broader Legalization
WHAT: In advance of the “marijuana holiday” of 4/20, Newark/North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen President Bishop Dr. Jethro James, Sr., Senator Ron Rice, Newark City Council President Mildred Crump, Smart Approaches to Marijuana‘s Will Jones and prominent activists in the New Jersey social justice movement gathered at Paradise Baptist Church in Newark to call on Governor Phil Murphy to provide long-sought social justice reforms by pardoning people convicted of a marijuana crime, without advancing dangerous legislation or opening the state to commercial marijuana sales. States that have approved the commercial pot sales have seen significant health and public safety impacts, as well as targeting and victimization of minority communities.
During the rally, Bishop Jethro James said, “We as a people can no longer stand on the promises of people in power. It’s time to take a stand that Moses took with Pharaoh – ‘Let our people go.’ More drugs in our community will only succeed in continuing to devastate and destroy the lives of our people.” (01:20 – 01:43)
Senator Ron Rice said, “It’s most unfortunate that throughout the country this movement has been taking place and its being sold under the auspices of social for black people.” (05:56 – 06:05)
Council President Crump said, “I don’t want it on Bourbon Street. I don’t want it on Clinton Avenue. I don’t want it on Maple Avenue. I don’t want it on my street. I don’t want it on Northport and so forth…They thought the opportunity to make money off of our community would convince me.” (15:08 – 15:33)
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