NJ’s Cannabis Commission Violates The Law, Says NJ NAACP

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The make-up of New Jersey’s new Hashish Regulatory Fee violates the legislation that created the fee, claims a lawyer for the state’s chapter of the NAACP.

This comes days after a social justice advocate criticized the fee because of the truth that none of its members are Black males—who’ve traditionally been probably the most disproportionately arrested and convicted of marijuana offenses within the state.

A letter obtained by Gothamist/WNYC reveals the civil rights group’s lawyer demanding that the state reveal the backgrounds of the 5 appointed fee members. 

Within the letter, Gregg L. Zeff quoted a piece of the brand new hashish laws, “A minimum of one member shall by a State consultant of a nationwide group or State department of a nationwide group with a said mission of learning, advocating, or adjudicating towards minority historic oppression, previous and current discrimination, unemployment, poverty and revenue inequality, and different types of social injustice or inequality.”

“It’s not clear to me that any appointed member of the fee meets this obligatory requirement,” Zeff, the NJ NAACP’s Authorized Redress Chair of the NJ NAACP, wrote. 

The fee is made up of a Latina girl, a Latino man, a white girl, a white man, and a Black girl, Dianna Houenou. Houenou, a former ACLU legal professional, is the fee’s chair. Zeff commented on her appointment, stating that whereas she is an “glorious selection” for chair, “be reminded that she has been working for the Governor’s workplace for 2 years and isn’t ‘a State consultant of a nationwide group or State department of a nationwide group with a said mission of learning, advocating, or adjudicating towards minority historic oppression…’”

New Jersey NAACP president Richard T. Smith stated the fee ought to take someone off the fee or add two seats.

The Hashish Regulatory Fee will decide who can legally develop and promote marijuana in New Jersey. A spokesman for the Governor declined a request for remark concerning the background of the fee members.

Final week, Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer, the founding father of the group Salvation and Social Justice Tweeted his dismay concerning the lack of illustration of Black males. “There’s nobody on the fee who has lived expertise with the brutalities of the drug warfare,” he informed Gothamist/WNYC final week. “There’s nobody right here who is aware of what it has been wish to have been arrested or incarcerated. There’s nobody right here who was ever within the underground market.”

With reporting by Danny Lewis and Christopher Robbins



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