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Senator Rice Needs to Get Woke About Weed, Pt. 2

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Originally published at blog.NORML.org

As New Jersey continues to fail its constituents each day they do not pass cannabis legalization for adult-use, the name of one state senator at the forefront of the fight against legalization remains permanently inked in shame: State Senator Ron Rice of the 28th District.

Despite 62% of New Jersey residents supporting legalizing cannabis for adult-use, State Senator Rice is now firmly in the pockets of the “Prohibition Now, Prohibition Forever” lobby, taking his marching orders and talking points from They Who Shall Not Be Named. As someone who likes to say he’s “of the people”, the state senator seems to have found a new group to whom he has pledged loyalty – and it’s not the people of New Jersey. 

Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

State Senator Rice released an op-ed on the 4th of July, in which he made a plea to his peers in the New Jersey State Legislature to prioritize decriminalization-

“We can make this happen and put our state at the vanguard of social justice in America. We can infuse our independence with a deeper level of freedom grounded in real justice for all. We can give the Fourth of July even greater meaning and let our fireworks reflect our own impossible formations of brilliance that make us one vibrant, colorful nation.”

State Senator Rice is right about one thing. Arrests for cannabis possession must stop immediately, and the New Jersey State Legislature must put aside petty politics and get this done. But what the state senator fails to realize it that decriminalization alone is simply not enough to undo the havoc that prohibition has wreaked upon communities across the state, including Newark, in his home district.

In a letter he wrote to his legislative colleagues earlier this year, State Senator Rice laid out a list of reasons to vote no on legalization bills S2703/A4497 and they read like they were taken straight from Kevin Sabet’s Twitter page. What State Senator Rice and the prohibitionist lobby fail to note is that their cherry-picked studies and alarmist prohibition propaganda ignore the larger studies that find that legalization has little to no negative impact on communities in legal states, and in most cases, bring positive change to the states who choose to legalize cannabis and implement common-sense regulatory structures.

Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

All of this is unsurprising. State Senator Rice has a long history of a gross misunderstanding of the science behind cannabis and the real-world effects of legalization. In an interview given last year to NJTV, State Senator Rice said “that he believes marijuana is a gateway drug [(a theory consistently disproven)] and claimed that when recreational marijuana is legalized, ‘the number of people who’ve never used any type of drugs goes up substantially in terms of drug use.’” He went on to demonstrate his severe lack of knowledge by saying-

“If in fact we legalize recreational marijuana, right across the street from my office they’re going to put up stores… They want to call them dispensaries, but they’re going to be stores that do retail selling cupcakes with marijuana, candies with marijuana, sex toys and oils with marijuana, lipsticks with marijuana, all those kinds of products that kids can get and people can get.”

For a man who truly believes he is “of the people”, State Senator Rice seems to be completely out of touch with what the people of New Jersey actually want. That’s why it’s so important for you as a New Jersey resident to tell him that you support full cannabis legalization in the Garden State.

Click here (if you live in the 28th District) or here (if you are a New Jersey resident outside the 28th District) to send an email to State Senator Rice and let him know that you are in full support of cannabis legalization in the Garden State.



Source: https://blog.norml.org/2019/07/13/senator-rice-needs-to-get-woke-about-weed-pt-2/

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