The Democratic Party of New Jersey failed to pass a bill legalizing marijuana. After a month of deliberation, Gov. Philip D. Murphy's motion in the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana failed.ion, Gov. Philip D. Murphy's motion in the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana failed.
The concerns against this motion came from parties who believe recreational marijuana will harm their communities. Concerned parties also raised the concerns about the majority-white owned marijuana businesses in the 11-states where dispensaries are legal and the potential overreach by the burgeoning marijuana industry.
The concern that the marijuana business is overly represented by white-Americans has been explored. Communities of color are being helped to participate in this multibillion dollar industry. A program called the "Hood Incubator" is helping former criminals become legal dealers and participants in the legal marijuana industry. Such programs can help raise marginalized communities up.
The loss in New Jersey, a Democratic state, highlights that the legalization of marijuana is not a slam-dunk or easily won. The key is a thoughtful approach and a partnership between business and government that raises communities in the state up. Taxation and education plans are key, and must be fully fleshed out.