After several years of failed attempts and efforts, New Jersey finally legalized marijuana on Monday, February 22, 2021, when Governor Philip D. Murphy signed three bills into law. These bills permit and regulate the use of recreational marijuana in the Garden State (with some strict stipulations) and focus on community outreach for previous marijuana-related convictions. The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey comes after a long run of unsuccessful attempts and hopes to end the era of arrests and ambiguity. Below, we take a closer look at New Jersey’s path to legalization of marijuana, as well as the recently enacted legislation itself.
As the marijuana industry grows and makes strides in the legalization of the substance, the legislation surrounding marijuana continues to significantly impact businesses in the market. Most recently, the House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE Act at the beginning of December 2020. As Ritter Spencer specializes in marijuana, cannabis, and CBD law, our experts explain what the MORE Act states and what it means for the marijuana industry.
In the 2020 elections, voters approved statewide ballot proposals to legalize medical and/or adult-recreational-use marijuana in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and South Dakota. In total, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states and recreational use cannabis is now legal in 15 states. Currently, marijuana legalization remains on the docket for Texas in 2021. While many lawmakers have high expectations for this year, loosening marijuana laws has been a long and grueling battle for the Lone Star State.
In early January, Mexico published regulations for the legal use of medical marijuana, marking a significant move forward in the cannabis space. This is a substantial step in cannabis reform for Mexico and will have a notable impact on the rest of the world as well. While some feel these regulations were long overdue, Mexico’s Ministry of Health’s rules were signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
The 2020 elections proved that the nation may be as divided as it has ever been politically. However, based on the election results, Americans seem to be trending towards quite a favorable outlook on cannabis legalization. This sentiment has changed over the years, as recreational marijuana was illegal in all 50 states less than just a decade ago. But what are the recent changes and results of the 2020 elections regarding marijuana legislation? And what does this mean for the cannabis industry as a whole?
Over the past decade, a growing number of states have enacted marijuana legalization laws or have moved toward discretionary or non-enforcement policies for marijuana offenses, resulting in an overall decrease in arrests related to the substance. But how do the numbers differ from area to area or from race to race? Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”) detailed a research report entitled A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform to examine racial disparities at a national, state, and county level regarding marijuana enforcement. Below, we take a closer look at the report and provide a detailed overview to further explore marijuana culture in the United States.