Public Question 1
Constitutional Amendment To Legalize Marijuana
Results
Response
Votes %
Yes 2,737,682 67.08%
No 1,343,610 32.92%
Total votes 4,081,292 100.00%

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.[1][2] Retail sales are also allowed under the amendment, but are currently awaiting gubernatorial approval after enabling legislation was passed by the legislature.[3]

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.[4]

Along with Arizona, Montana and South Dakota, New Jersey is one of four states that legalized recreational marijuana via ballot measures in 2020.

Results[edit]

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%.

Results by County[5]
County Yes Yes % No No % Total
Atlantic 86,176 69.2% 38,430 30.8% 124,606
Bergen 208,941 66.5% 105,208 33.5% 314,149
Burlington 179,390 71.3% 72,193 28.7% 251,583
Camden 172,531 75.3% 56,667 24.7% 229,198
Cape May 36,353 65.9% 18,775 34.1% 55,128
Cumberland 35,636 66.9% 17,632 33.1% 53,268
Essex 229,144 72.0% 89,315 28.0% 318,459
Gloucester 113,728 70.5% 47,497 29.5% 161,225
Hudson 153,430 71.8% 60,417 28.3% 213,847
Hunterdon 52,994 64.4% 29,292 35.6% 82,286
Mercer 119,390 71.3% 48,171 28.7% 167,561
Middlesex 221,484 62.7% 131,757 37.3% 353,241
Monmouth 244,576 65.6% 128,276 34.4% 372,852
Morris 184,757 61.2% 100,749 35.3% 285,506
Ocean 190,204 60.1% 126,469 39.9% 316,673
Passaic 131,449 63.5% 75,578 36.5% 207,027
Salem 20,911 65.1% 11,188 34.9% 32,099
Somerset 114,904 63.7% 65,595 36.3% 180,499
Sussex 57,583 66.4% 29,158 33.6% 86,741
Union 146,620 67.9% 69,204 32.1% 215,824
Warren 37,481 63.0% 22,039 37.0% 59,520
Total 2,737,682 67.1% 1,343,610 32.9% 4,081,238

Implementation[edit]

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.[6]

On December 4, 2020, Governor Murphy announced he had reached an agreement with the legislature's leadership on adult-use cannabis sales.[7] 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.[8][9][10] Murphy did not immediately sign the legislation, citing concerns about the lack of penalties for underage marijuana consumption in the decriminalization bill.[11] 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.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]