New Jersey Public Question 1, the Constitutional Amendment To Legalize Marijuana, was a measure that appeared on the November 3, 2020 New Jersey general election ballot. Passing with the largest margin of victory of any statewide cannabis legalization ballot measure in US history, Question 1 legalized the possession and recreational use of the drug; although planned to go into effect January 1, 2021, implementation is currently delayed. Retail sales are also allowed under the amendment, but are currently awaiting gubernatorial approval after enabling legislation was passed by the legislature.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy campaigned on legalizing marijuana in the 2017 gubernatorial election. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to implement legalization via the legislature, in 2019 lawmakers voted to put the issue on the November 2020 ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Public Question 1 overwhelmingly passed with 67.1% yes vs 32.9% no. Every county voted at least 60% yes. Monmouth County had the largest number of yes votes, at 244,576, while Camden County had the highest percentage of yes votes, at 75.3%. Middlesex County had the largest number of no votes, at 131,757, while Ocean County had the highest percentage of no votes, at 39.9%.
|County||Yes||Yes %||No||No %||Total|
Shortly after voters decisively approved the measure, a bill to decriminalize marijuana in the interim was introduced in the legislature; while it passed in the Senate, approval stalled in the House amid a contentious provision which would lessen the criminal penalties for possession of psilocybin mushrooms.
On December 4, 2020, Governor Murphy announced he had reached an agreement with the legislature's leadership on adult-use cannabis sales. The cannabis regulation bill was approved by committees in both legislative houses on December 14 and during a subsequent floor vote by the full assembly three days later. Murphy did not immediately sign the legislation, citing concerns about the lack of penalties for underage marijuana consumption in the decriminalization bill. Although lawmakers initially indicated they would be willing to amend the bill to include underage penalties, they subsequently withdrew that offer on January 8 and indicated Murphy would need to sign or veto the enabling legislation as-is.
- Cannabis in New Jersey
- 2020 Arizona Proposition 207
- 2020 Montana Initiative 190
- 2020 South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A
- Jaeger, Kyle (November 4, 2020). "New Jersey Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization Referendum".
- "Marijuana decriminalization stalls in N.J. Assembly after lawmakers add magic mushrooms to the bill. Senate moves forward". nj. November 16, 2020.
- Sutton, Sam. "New Jersey marijuana legalization bill dead; lawmakers will let voters decide". Politico PRO.
- "Official List Public Question Results For 11/03/2020--GENERAL ELECTION" (PDF). NJ Division of Elections.