In a letter to Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) suggested that the Senate Judiciary Committee chair be replaced by a member willing to advance marijuana decriminalization bill S-2535 to immediately correct blatant social injustice in New Jersey.
Rice, who noted that he has fought for more than two and a half years to protect Blacks and people of color from being arrested and incarcerated at three to four times the rate of whites for the same marijuana offense, has recently requested that the bill be voted on or reassigned to another committee. Having received no response to his appeal for a meeting with Sweeney and Judiciary Committee Chair Nicholas Scutari, Rice now calls for a change in leadership.
“Justice delayed is justice denied for the 100 New Jersey residents, mostly young, poor and minority, arrested every day for small amount marijuana offenses,” Rice said. “It was bad enough when we started this fight, but in today’s environment, if offenders survive the arrest without being shot on the street, they are at peril of being incarcerated in crowded prisons during the coronavirus pandemic.” He concluded, “Enough. Is. Enough.”Rice Letter To Sweeney re Decrim Bill, Judiciary Committee