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Turner, Singleton Support Legalization Bill, Push for Greater Social Justice Provisions

Trenton – Following their votes in support of the marijuana legalization enabling legislation, Senator Shirley Turner and Senator Troy Singleton issued the following statement calling upon Senator Nicholas Scutari to include greater social justice protections:

“Legalizing marijuana is a major victory for the Black community, but more needs to be done to right the wrongs of the last fifty years. We have asked Senator Scutari to amend the bill to help heal our communities most impacted by the ‘War on Drugs’. Our proposed amendments would help increase diversity within the cannabis industry, by allowing prospective minority license holders to partner with investors to obtain the capital investments they need to purchase a license and get their operation up and running. In this partnership, the majority of ownership must be retained by Black and Brown individuals. To ensure that the profits garnered from the cannabis industry are funneled back into the communities that need it most, we are calling on the sponsor to dedicate 25 percent of all tax revenue collected to programs within impact zones which work to reverse the harmful effects of drug criminalization. Clearly more needs to be done to reverse the systemic racism underlying our criminal justice system, but legalizing cannabis, facilitating minority participation in the industry, and using our new revenue stream to revitalize our communities is a step in the right direction.”