Marijuana legalization laws have failed numerous times in New Jersey. Even though the state is smaller, there’s a lot of support to legalize recreational marijuana this year. A recent poll by Monmouth University showed that 62% of adults in New Jersey favor recreational marijuana legalization. This year, lawmakers hoped to put the proposal on the ballot. However, disagreements about a final bill caused a delay. Now, lawmakers have submitted a legalization reform before voters on the November 2020 ballot. Let’s see the progress in New Jersey.
New Jersey voters ready for marijuana legalization referendum
After failing to come up with a final proposal for marijuana legalization in the state, lawmakers have put the referendum question on the November ballot. They want to understand if voters support legalization. A Marijuana Moment article discussed a survey by Monmouth University. The survey was intended to gather voters’ opinions regarding the referendum question. The survey results showed that 61% of the respondents would vote in support of legalization, while 34% would vote against it.
In the survey, when asked if the state should allow adults 21 and older to possess a small amount of cannabis, 32% opposed it. Also, 42% of New Jersey voters said the state should allow adults to purchase marijuana from a licensed retailer.
Talking about the survey, Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, “Support for the marijuana ballot measure is widespread in part because many who have no opinion on whether legalization is a good idea figure they might as well vote for it.”
Cannabis legalization initiatives
Previously, I discussed how Democrats have stepped up to legalize marijuana in many US states. Joe Biden is the only Democrat who opposes full-scale legalization without additional research. However, he supports decriminalization. The survey in New Jersey also showed that close to 74% of Democrats support the legalization measure.
Some states are still trying to gather signatures online to pass the legalization measure in 2020. However, many states have suspended their legalization campaigns due to COVID-19 including Missouri, North Dakota, and Idaho. Meanwhile, lawmakers in New York are trying to legalize marijuana through Zoom.
Cannabis sales continue to rise amid the pandemic. However, cannabis companies are concerned that the sales might go back to the pre-COVID-19 level. Lower sales would impact profitability for companies that are already in a financial crisis. Cannabis stocks have had a mixed performance in April after Aphria and OrganiGram’s earnings results. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF closed 0.64% higher on April 23. Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC)(TSE:WEED) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) declined by 1.3% and 0.32% yesterday. Meanwhile, Aphria (NYSE:APHA) and Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) closed 3.6% and 1.5% higher on Thursday.