Rice: Racial Impact Study on Marijuana Legislation


For too long, social justice and economic justice for people of color in New Jersey has been denied and/or delayed. Now that the legalization of adult use recreational marijuana has been approved by voters, some of my legislative colleagues are all but tripping over themselves to open the floodgates to marijuana sales and reward the lobbyists and investors at the center of this feeding frenzy. But my colleagues need to take a breath and remember that legalization became a referendum because the bi-partisan majority of us could not in good faith pass it as legislation beneficial to New Jersey. It now needs to be gently, diligently shepherded into enactment with social justice unmistakably at its core. An impact study will go a long way toward that goal.

Social justice, economic justice and criminal justice reform have been the main focus of my 34 years as a senator. Knowing that Blacks made up only about 15 percent of our state population but accounted for a…

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