On Monday, New Jersey lawmakers decided to let the voters decide whether or not to legalize cannabis use for adults. It will be voted on by the citizens in November 2020. If passed, the referendum will take effect on January 1st, 2021.
In early November 2019, Senate President Steve Sweeney, after discovering that there would not be a majority vote of support in the Senate for the legislature to directly legalize cannabis. Decided to leave the decision in the hands of the voters via a voter referral.
The voter referral proposal was approved in both legislative chambers with super majority support. The Senate voted 24 to 16 in favor, and the Assembly voted 49 to 24 to 1 in favor of the resolution.
What is the significance of New Jersey’s Cannabis referendum?
If voters decide to pass the referendum in November, New Jersey would join the 11 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have gone ahead with adult-use cannabis legalization. The proposed solution to allow voters to decide on legalization is coming at the perfect time.
Being as many other states bordering the East Coast are building strong support to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2020. These states include New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware. Multiple other states may consider ballot measures next November.