New Jersey’s “War on Drugs,” has taken a severe toll on African-Americans who are more likely to be arrested

NEWARK – Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) announced today he is introducing a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in New Jersey.

The ACLU-NJ and national ACLU have been calling for ending the failed war on drugs, which has disproportionately targeted black New Jerseyans for marijuana charges.

The following statement is from Udi Ofer, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey.

Udi Ofer

Taxing and regulating marijuana is an important step toward ending the failed war on drugs in New Jersey. The state’s war on drugs has derailed the lives of tens of thousands of New Jerseyans a year, especially African-Americans, who are close to three times more likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession despite similar usage rates.

Countless New Jerseyans have suffered from lost job, housing, and educational opportunities as a result of wasteful enforcement of nonviolent, low-level marijuana possession offenses. The time has come to move toward ending the injustice brought on by the war on drugs.

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