What do New Jersey adults think about equity in the context of cannabis legalization?
Allen, J. A., Lee, Y. O., Woodlea, R. J., Malo, V. F., & Zitney, L. V. (2021). Equity in state cannabis regulations: What do New Jersey adults think about equity in the context of cannabis legalization? RTI International.
States that are legalizing cannabis for adult use—like New Jersey—are increasingly focused on equity. This means they are interested in acknowledging and repairing some of the harm done by past enforcement of marijuana laws, commonly known as the “war on drugs.”
The war on drugs is an example of systemic racism. Black people in the United States have been arrested for marijuana possession at much higher rates than white people, although rates of marijuana use are similar. These arrests have produced negative outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
To date, states that have sought to prioritize equity in cannabis regulations have not achieved as much as they hoped, in part due to competing interests in this emerging industry. This study documents public support for equity and specific equity-focused policies in New Jersey, and assesses whether an educational message can increase support for equity provisions.