A merger of drug regulation and Civil rights societies are pushing New Jersey’s Governor to strategically provide pardons for individuals with Cannabis convictions. This will supplement the federal’s voter-passed measure to decriminalize marijuana.
Last week, legislators sent the governor provision that could open doors to have cannabis-related cases expunged. However, organizations such as NAACP New Jersey State Conference and New Jersey’s ACLU said it does go deep enough to right the injustices of cannabis illegalization.
According to a letter sent to Governor Murphy Phil, the organizations gave a step-by-step pardon guide that would commence in December and stretch through 2021’s September.
The groups also consist of Salvation and Social Justice and the Latino Action Network. They wrote that New Jersey still has adverse punitive measures for marijuana-related cases. They went on to say that the state has folks in jail, drug courts, parole, prison, and being monitored thanks to conditional discharges because of marijuana-related offences.
They also wrote that although expungements will help several folks when they’re enacted, they won’t independently aid people affected by cannabis prohibition.
The coalition stated that the government should first pardon those currently incarcerated over marijuana convictions, those jailed and waiting for trial for the offences and foreigners with marijuana-related convictions that qualify for expungements. They also said that foreigners with any marijuana-associated cases will also be prioritized.
They further asserted that individuals on pretrial supervision or parole for marijuana cases should be awarded clemency. The governor should then pardon people in drug courts or on probation.
Evan Nison, a NORML countrywide board member who sponsored the initiative to merge groups for the call-to-action to the governor, said that New Jersey is moving from full cannabis criminalization with extreme enforcement and harsh penalties to full decriminalization. However, there are people still in prison, jail, on probation or parole thanks to cannabis or paraphernalia.