New Jersey’s Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (D, is asking fellow mayors to join him in a push for stronger social justice protections.
This includes the expunging of records for marijuana offenses and permitting those with cannabis-related convictions to obtain business licenses to participate in the legal industry.
Baraka wrote in a letter to the NJ Urban Mayors’ Assocatio that “there remain serious issues of social justice and equity; municipal self-determination and finances that are not adequately addressed in the pending legislation.”
“While I support legalization, I can only support legislation that goes even farther to remedy the damage to communities of color caused by years of cannabis prohibition,” he wrote. “I urge you to join me in seeking passage of stronger legislation.”
“Social Impact Zones to compensate the people whose areas have been damaged by the marijuana prohibition is a necessary idea,” He added. “But the concept needs teeth lacking in proposed legislation,” he said, referring to details that have emerged so far about the yet-to-be introduced bill.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop (D) supports the move and has said, “These provisions outlined here are important to us to move 4ward. Period.”