Sen. Rice: Legalizing pot won’t stop social injustice in the black and brown community

By October 24, 2019 Recent News

NJ.com 22 October 2019
Family First Comment: “Seeing firsthand how drugs eviscerate urban communities – and understanding how marijuana legalisation will impact the health, education, economic, business, liability and litigation complexities of our densely-populated, metropolitan-bookended state – I fully oppose it. To correct the social injustice of unfair arrests, I support decriminalising the use and possession of small amounts… When I hear my colleagues pushing for legalisation “in the name of social justice,” I can’t apologise for my instinct to suspect that it’s really about helping political friends profit from an industry that should not be allowed a foothold in our state.”
Read more facts – https://saynopetodope.org.nz/social-justice/

But to me, the most debilitating, depressing and detrimental offense to people of color is the unfair bias of our racist criminal justice system. And nowhere is that more evident than the instances of black and brown people arrested, convicted and incarcerated at a rate three times more than whites for the same small-quantity marijuana infractions. That ratio holds up even in states where recreational marijuana is legal.

Seeing firsthand how drugs eviscerate urban communities – and understanding how marijuana legalization will impact the health, education, economic, business, liability and litigation complexities of our densely-populated, metropolitan-bookended state – I fully oppose it. To correct the social injustice of unfair arrests, I support decriminalizing the use and possession of small amounts. It is a common sense compromise where New Jersey can find common ground.

Nonetheless, as our entire nation reels with panic over the dangerously high potency of today’s marijuana and the spiraling number of deaths from vaping, our state leaders stubbornly insist on pursuing legalization. It’s equally incomprehensible that while America convulses with an out-of-control opioid epidemic, New Jersey would signal to our children that marijuana should be promoted.

When I hear my colleagues pushing for legalization “in the name of social justice,” I can’t apologize for my instinct to suspect that it’s really about helping political friends profit from an industry that should not be allowed a foothold in our state.

I call on every black legislative, municipal, civil rights and faith leader in New Jersey to speak out against legalization. I want to remind them that our march for equality has already trudged across 400 long years and that no other ethnic group has had to struggle so hard to move the needle so little. I challenge each of them to step up and define “social justice” with their own voice, their own action and their own leadership rather than accept a diluted definition from those whose ancestors did not arrive as slaves.

I want them to uphold the dignity and wellbeing of every New Jerseyan and to remember the insight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

State Senator Ronald L. Rice has represented the 28th Legislative District in the New Jersey State Senate since 1986.
READ MORE: https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/10/sen-rice-legalizing-pot-wont-stop-social-injustice-in-the-black-and-brown-community.html

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