A coalition of civil rights and drug policy reform groups is calling on the governor of New Jersey to systematically issue pardons for people with marijuana convictions to supplement the state’s voter-approved move to legalize cannabis. While lawmakers sent the governor legislation last week that would provide opportunities to have marijuana-related records expunged, the organizations—including ACLU of New Jersey and NAACP New Jersey State Conference—say it does not go far enough to right the wrongs of cannabis criminalization. In a letter sent to Gov. Phil Murphy, the organizations laid out a suggested step-by-step structured pardon plan which would begin this month and escalate through next September. The first group that the coalition says the governor should issue pardons for those currently incarcerated over marijuana or paraphernalia convictions, those in jail awaiting trial for those offenses, and non-citizens with felonies for marijuana crimes that are eligible for expungements. Non-citizens with felonies for any cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia related offenses are also priorities, they said.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/21/2020 08:50:00