New Jersey’s Democratic leaders tried for more than a year to legalize and broaden the use of marijuana in the state. The first part of their three-pronged strategy was to widen the availability of medical marijuana.
They also wanted to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana, making sure to incorporate a social justice pact — offering records expungement for those convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana and helping minorities to get involved in the new industry.
But while access to medical marijuana is being expanded, the effort to legalize recreational marijuana did not get enough votes in the state Legislature for a law to be passed.
At an NJ Spotlight roundtable, experts examined new regulations for medical marijuana and the possible impact on healthcare in the Garden State, as well as the prospects for the legalization of adult-use marijuana now that the legislative effort has come up short.
Panel I: Medical Marijuana
Jeff Brown, Assistant Commissioner, Medicinal Marijuana Program,
New Jersey Department of Health
Dr. Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison
Information and Education System; Associate Professor of Emergency
Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Jackie Cornell, Chief of Policy and Health Innovations, 1906; Former
Principal Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health
Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana
New Jersey, Inc.; Spokesman for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
Panel II: Adult-Use Marijuana and Social Justice
Lloyd Freeman, Partner, Chief Diversity Officer, Archer & Greiner, P.C.
Kelli Hykes, Government Relations Director, Weedmaps
Fruqan Mouzon, Of Counsel and Chair of Cannabis Practice Group, McElroy,
Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP; Former General Counsel to the New
Jersey State Senate Majority
Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana and
Affiliated Fellow, Yale University
Lee Keough, Editor in Chief, NJ Spotlight