Press Release

New Jersey Voters Legalize Marijuana

Nov 03, 2020

New Jersey Voters Legalize Marijuana

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Contact: Violet Cavendish

Public Question 1 Passes by Strong Margin

Washington, D.C. — New Jersey voters have approved a constitutional ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over and establish a framework for marijuana regulation in the Garden State. New Jersey becomes the 12th state to enact a legalization law.

“This is a great day for New Jersey. After years of political inaction, voters have definitively approved marijuana legalization,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which was founded in 1995 and has played a central role in 10 state-level legalization victories over the past eight years.

“The passage of this ballot measure positions New Jersey to take the lead in the Northeast and will push neighboring states, like New York and Pennsylvania, to take action on marijuana legalization,” Hawkins added. “This is a victory for social justice given that Black residents of New Jersey are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white residents despite similar usage rates.”

“Regardless of who controls the White House, the House, and the Senate, we should demand landmark federal marijuana reform in 2021,”continued Hawkins. “According to the most recent Gallup poll, 66% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, including over half of Republicans.” 

New Jersey is one of five states that voted on marijuana reform ballot initiatives this November. In Arizona, New Jersey, and Montana, there were ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over. South Dakota is voting on initiatives for both medical marijuana and marijuana legalization for adults 21 and over. Mississippi is voting on two competing medical marijuana initiatives. Advocates are awaiting results in the other four states. 

Heading into Election Day, 11 states had legalized marijuana for adults 21 and over, and 34 states had legalized medical marijuana.


Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.

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