New Jersey legalization vote possible in late 2019

Last update: September 27, 2019


Despite overwhelming support for legalization in New Jersey, the state’s adult-use bill was tabled in March because leaders did not believe there were enough votes for passage in the Senate. But in summer 2019, Senate President Stephen Sweeney gave the effort new hope when he expressed a willingness to try to pass legislation during the “lame duck” session in late 2019.

Securing the votes needed to pass the Senate will require all hands on deck. Legalization is an issue where both voters and elected officials are rapidly evolving — Gallup polls show national support has skyrocketed from 44% to 66% in the last decade. Please help your lawmakers evolve, too. You can send your state legislators an email using our free software. Our pre-written, editable letters make it a quick and easy process.

We also encourage you to call your state senator, or  — better yet — schedule a meeting to discuss the issue in person. You can look up your state senator’s phone number here. (Your state senator is your “upper chamber” member.) Let us know if you get a meeting, and we can help prepare you.

If you have a special connection to the issue or your community, please let us know. We are especially interested in hearing from medical professionals, clergy, former or current law enforcement, and individuals who were harmed by marijuana prohibition.

Medical cannabis program expanded

On June 2, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A20, also known as Jake’s Law — named after Jake Honig, a pediatric patient who used medical marijuana during his battle with cancer. The law institutes many much needed reforms to the medical marijuana program, including:

  • expanding qualifying conditions, including by adding chronic pain;
  • providing anti-discrimination protections, including related to education, rental housing, professional licensing, and employment;
  • expanding access, including by increasing the number of cultivators, retailers, and manufacturers; and
  • allowing home delivery.

A more detailed summary of the changes can be found here.

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