Written by Chase Fogletto for The Argo
Nearing closer to November 3, New Jerseyans are not only voting for the presidential election and the House Representative election. They also have a critical vote to cast regarding the future of marijuana and its footings within the state legislature.
The marijuana referendum has been an ongoing discussion within the state, and Gov. Phil Murphy has been urging the government to vote yes through a campaign committee called NJ CAN 2020. For Stockton University, this vote’s outcome could directly affect the growing Cannabis minor offered by the school. Stockton University’s Cannabis minor includes courses designed for students to one day work in a field where recreational or medical cannabis is legal.
Classes range from cannabis cultivation to prison reform, and the passing of New Jersey’s bill could help expand this minor and better prepare students for work in New Jersey involving cannabis once graduated.
“I’m excited to dive deeper into the field of cannabis within Stockton’s cannabis minor,” Stockton student Jenna Russo said. “I feel like if the vote doesn’t get passed then there will be no room for the minor to grow, and that students may not be fully prepared for when New Jersey does decide to legalize fully.”
Students and New Jersey officials aren’t the only ones pushing for this referendum. State residents seem to have huge margins within their polls of whether or not the marijuana legalization bill should be passed. In a poll released on Friday, the Stockton University Polling Institute survey concluded that 66 percent favored the legalization while 23 percent opposed.
This almost three-to-one margin shows that there could be a larger number of voters voting yes to this bill than there have been in recent years. The legalization of marijuana in the state could jumpstart new economic growth, job creation, and tax revenue. Hopefully, the legalization will come with other legislative acts such as the cannabis decriminalization bill that would protect against possession of up to two ounces a civil penalty without jail time.
State lawmakers are working to implement the details of a legal cannabis framework if voters approve the referendum. New Jersey and other states such as Arizona and Montana are also voting on a state marijuana legalization bill. If passed, these states would be added to the 33 states that currently have legalized medical cannabis and 11 states that have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use.