TOMS RIVER, NJ – New Jersey could see the legalization of recreational marijuana in just two weeks according to the results of the Brach Eichler Cannabis Poll. That poll showed 65% of New Jersey voters are likely to vote yes on the referendum question to legalize marijuana on their mail-in ballot. Governor Phil Murphy has been a supporter of legalized marijuana, but couldn’t muster enough support in the state legislature to get a law passed in 2019.
“The facts are on our side,” Murphy said of the legalization of marijuana. “The fact is that the current marijuana laws stifle both social justice and economic development.”
Another poll conducted by Farleigh Dickinson Unversity showed 61% of voters were in favor of marijuana legalization. That poll also showed 68% of New Jersey favored a plan by Governor Phil Murphy to issue pardons to those New Jerseyans incarcerated for minor marijuana crimes.
The Republican establishment of New Jersey has united against the legalization of marijuana, issuing a release
In September, the New Jersey Republican County Chairmen’s Association voted unanimously to adopt a resolution expressing its opposition to Ballot Question One and urging New Jersey voters to vote No on the question. It is on the November General Election ballot.
“We are strongly opposed to legalizing pot for personal use,” said Jose Arango, who was elected chairman of the association at the same meeting at which the resolution passed. In addition to being the association’s chair, Arango is the long-time chairman the Hudson County Republican Party and a former member of the NJ General Assembly.
That resolution was signed by all 21 Republican chairmen.
Joseph Rullo, a Republican candidate for Governor in 2017 said Republicans should be more open to the process of legalizing marijuana in the Garden State. Rullo has been an anomaly in the party, being an open and avid supporter of legalized marijuana.
“The Republican Party lost an opportunity to grow its base and expand its reach,” Rullo said of the condemnation by the party elite. “Polls show over 60% of residents want this and in a time when your party numbers are shrinking in a predominantly blue state, it could have helped the party reach the younger generations and the moderates of the state who support this referendum.”
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders also united this summer against the marijuana referendum, voting unanimously against the proposed state amendment and ballot referendum question.
Marijuana supporters packed the meeting room and spoke out against the freeholder’s condemnation. Some residents in attendance agreed with the freeholders. The freeholders did not comment on the resolution. Ocean County is home to one of the largest populations of senior living communities as many aging New Jerseyeans chose the shore area for their retirement.
New Jersey voters have already cast 1.79 million mail-in voting ballots, nearly half of how many residents voted in the 2019 election.