State of New Jersey secondary Archives: on Drugs


Rik Mehta: Eliminate aid to socialist governments run on trafficking

Dr. Mehta's Opioid Action Plan will develop guidelines for State Medical Boards that:
  1. provide a fair and balanced approach to prosecuting doctors for overprescribing pain medications while mitigating access for patients suffering from intractable pain and diseases
  2. protect coordination between local and federal law enforcement cracking down on illicit narcotics flowing through our borders and
  3. eliminate foreign aid to socialist governments run on narco trafficking.
Source: 2020 New Jersey Senate campaign website RikForNJ.com Mar 18, 2020

Hirsh Singh: Regulate and tax cannabis like alcohol

It is time to regulate and tax cannabis in the same way as alcohol. This strategy will free up law enforcement to combat more serious issues, such as illegal smuggling across our borders. It will also encourage the treatment of drug addiction as a public health issue. In addition to these measures, we must end the practice of Civil Asset Forfeiture, which currently allows law enforcement agencies to seize private property without charges or a conviction.
Source: 2020 New Jersey Senate website HirshSingh.com Feb 5, 2020

Phil Murphy: Legalize adult-use marijuana; undo past convictions

By legalizing adult-use marijuana we can reverse the inequality and unfairness left from years of failed drug policies and shift public safety resources to where they can do the most good. We must ensure that those with a past mark on their records because of a low-level offense can have that stain removed, so they can move forward to get a stable job or an education. But it will also allow us to broadly benefit from creating an entirely new and legal industry.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to New Jersey legislature Jan 15, 2019

Bob Hugin: Decriminalize pot in small amounts but not recreational use

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Robert Hugin (R): Decriminalize small amounts but opposes recreational legalization.

Robert Menendez (D): Urged administration to respect state laws & submitted bill to study states that have legalized. Supports giving pot businesses access to banking services.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on New Jersey Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Robert Menendez: Give marijuana businesses access to banking services

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Robert Hugin (R): Decriminalize small amounts but opposes recreational legalization.

Robert Menendez (D): Urged administration to respect state laws & submitted bill to study states that have legalized. Supports giving pot businesses access to banking services.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on New Jersey Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Phil Murphy: Focus on racial justice with marijuana legalization.

Racial equity in the cannabis industry has been a problem in states that have legalized the drug. Colorado banned those with marijuana felonies from working in the newly legal industry. That model of legalization is starting to shift. Oakland, California made history when it launched an equity program aimed at remedying drug-war injustices. Instead of banning people with drug convictions from the industry, the city created a program that gave those with pot convictions first dibs on a marijuana business license.

Massachusetts rolled out the first state-wide equity program in the nation last month. Not only do equity applicants get an early start in applying for a license, they also receive help from the state in raising capital and compliance. Meanwhile, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has focused on racial justice in his support for legalization.

Source: Forbes Magazine on 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race May 7, 2018

Hirsh Singh: Treat drug addiction as a public health problem

As we see growing evidence of how new approaches to drug laws have been successful, it's time for New Jersey to move forward and legalize cannabis. I propose the following changes:
  • Regulate and tax cannabis like alcohol.
  • Redirect law enforcement resources to fight serious crimes.
  • Treat drug addiction as a public health problem allowing for different treatment methods for those in need of help.
  • Reform penalties for nonviolent drug offenders which have devastated inner city communities and overcrowded our prison system.
  • I believe in the rule of law, that is why I would fight to end Civil Asset Forfeiture in New Jersey which allows Law Enforcement to seize property without filing charges or getting a conviction.
    Source: Ballotpedia.org Connection: 2020 New Jersey Senate race Nov 1, 2017

    Seth Kaper-Dale: Legalize and tax recreational marijuana

    It is difficult to justify why a disproportionate number of young black and brown men are locked up for smoking a joint while white young men are starting legal businesses based around selling weed. This administration would sign legislation that legalizes marijuana for recreational and medical use. We would seek legislation to allow current sentences of inmates for marijuana related offenses to be reconsidered within the state's new legal framework around marijuana.
    Source: 2018 New Jersey Governor website KaperDaleForGovernor.com Aug 8, 2017

    Kim Guadagno: Decriminalization, not legalization

    Guadagno is opposed to legalizing marijuana, but is in favor of making it easier for patients to get medical marijuana. "Children with proper doctors should have access to medical marijuana. Veterans suffering from PTSD shouldn't have to try every opioid before they get to marijuana," she said. She's also in favor of looking at decriminalization, so that drug offenders won't "go to jail for small quantities."
    Source: Asbury Park Press on 2017 New Jersey governor race May 11, 2017

    Jack Ciattarelli: Drug epidemic should remain a priority

    The meeting was broadcast on Facebook Live. A reader asked Ciattarelli where the drug epidemic placed among his priorities. "(Gov. Christie) has made it a priority and it should remain a priority for the next governor,'' Ciattarelli replied. "There is a crisis. People are dying every single day.''
    Source: Bergen Record on 2021 New Jersey Gubernatorial race Mar 20, 2017

    Joe Rullo: Make it a living hell for heroin dealers in NJ

    There are numerous examples of heroin dealers getting probation for first time offenses in NJ. All it takes is one time to kill someone with this poison they call heroin. Tell the families who have lost loved ones to this poison that first time dealers should get a break. No heroin dealer should get off with probation of non violent first offense. I will do everything in my power as Governor to make it a living hell for heroin dealers in NJ. With that being said they should be charged for attempt of murder for distribution and automatic manslaughter if someone dies from their distribution. Backed up court systems enabling these criminals to poison our society for court dates as long as one year or more will be another main focus.
    Source: 2017 New Jersey Gubernatorial campaign website Rullo2017.com Jan 17, 2017

    Phil Murphy: Opioid addiction is an illness, and it is treatable

    Too many residents & their families continue to struggle with addiction. Too many communities continue to be ravaged by an epidemic of overdoses, particularly from opioids. Over the last decade, 5,000 residents of our state have died from heroin & opioid overdoses alone. Phil recognizes that addiction is an illness, and that it is treatable with the right resources and focus in place. Treating and preventing addiction saves lives and allows people to return home to their families and get back to work.
    Source: 2017 New Jersey Gubernatorial website, Murphy4NJ.com Sep 19, 2016

    Chris Christie: Addiction is an illness and should be treated as such

    Instead of prosecuting a failed war on drugs--a war on our own citizens--we've classified drug addiction as the illness it truly is, and worked to treat and rehabilitate some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Last year alone I signed ten new laws to address this issue, and today we're going to talk about the next steps we need to take to continue making progress.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to New Jersey legislature Jan 12, 2016

    Chris Christie: Search for innovative ways to address drug epidemic

    Since 2012 we've enacted more than a dozen laws to address the drug epidemic. In 2013 we brought in the drug court program to provide mandatory treatment to first-time, non-violent, non-dealing drug offenders. In 2014 we launched a statewide program to help reduce the number of heroin-related. Last July, we instituted a single point of entry for people to gain access to treatment. This year, I plan to ask to fund the Recovery Coach Program for an additional six counties in New Jersey.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to New Jersey legislature Jan 12, 2016

    Jim McGreevey: Offer behavioral drug treatment to addicted inmates

    Heroin addiction impacts a person's sobriety, judgment, and behavior. Addict inmates have repeatedly told me of spending up to 90% of their time trying to secure their next "hit." Running, gunning and doping are a lifestyle to sustain one's addiction.

    The US has roughly 2 million incarcerated persons. Upwards of 70% of incarcerated persons are clinically addicted to drugs/alcohol. 25% of violent offenders in state prisons committed their crime under the influence of a harmful substance. Nationally, only 15% of addicted inmates received professional addictions treatment. The cost of treatment is disproportionately offset by a reduction in drug usage, criminal behavior, and an accrued savings.

    New Jersey licenses "clinically based" treatment behind bars. As Hudson County Corrections' Center has recognized, the empty time behind bars provides a structured setting to interrupt drug use and initiate treatment best practices.

    Source: Newark Star Ledger OpEd on 2017 New Jersey governor's race Dec 16, 2015

    Jim McGreevey: Transition addicted inmates to outpatient drug treatment

    [Under NJ's in-prison drug treatment program], counselors offer intensive daily treatment: from sunrise until sunset, clients move from a morning prayer & community meetings to didactics focusing upon sexual abuse, anger management, & domestic violence. As a wizened priest shared, "We can't think our ourselves into new behaviors, but we can behave ourselves into new thinking."

    By creating a community apart from the general incarcerated population, the addict adopts new healthy behaviors. Within the daily ritual of the therapeutic community, the addicts mimic new behaviors.

    The addict moves from jail to structured, sober housing. Through Mayor Steve Fulop's foresight, at Martin's Place in Jersey City we offer intensive outpatient treatment for addicts and co-occurring treatment for addicted persons with mental health disabilities. If a person fails to abide by the requirements of the addictions treatment protocol, the client is subjected to judicial monitoring or sanctions.

    Source: Newark Star Ledger OpEd on 2017 New Jersey governor's race Dec 16, 2015

    Steve Fulop: Transition addicted inmates to outpatient drug treatment

    [Under NJ's in-prison drug treatment program], counselors offer intensive daily treatment: from sunrise until sunset, clients move from a morning prayer & community meetings to didactics focusing upon sexual abuse, anger management, & domestic violence. As a wizened priest shared, "We can't think our ourselves into new behaviors, but we can behave ourselves into new thinking."

    By creating a community apart from the general incarcerated population, the addict adopts new healthy behaviors. Within the daily ritual of the therapeutic community, the addicts mimic new behaviors.

    The addict moves from jail to structured, sober housing. Through Mayor Steve Fulop's foresight, at Martin's Place in Jersey City we offer intensive outpatient treatment for addicts and co-occurring treatment for addicted persons with mental health disabilities. If a person fails to abide by the requirements of the addictions treatment protocol, the client is subjected to judicial monitoring or sanctions.

    Source: Newark Star Ledger OpEd on 2017 New Jersey governor's race Dec 16, 2015

    Ray Lesniak: Ultimately we'll get legalization but wait for other states

    Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without--so far--a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it.

    Senator Ray Lesniak said he would consult with those involved in drug recovery efforts before making a decision. "I wanna hear more about the experiences in the states and other countries where it is legal," he said. "It's a process; I think ultimately we'll get there but we need more information before a final decision is made."

    Source: NJ-TV online on 2017 New Jersey Gubernatorial race Nov 13, 2015

    Ray Lesniak: Study legalization of recreational cannabis in other states

    Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without--so far--a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it.

    Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said he's still studying the issue. "I think that there's certainly pros and cons," he said, "and we've heard both sides of it and we're trying to learn what works in other states."

    Senator Ray Lesniak said he would consult with those involved in drug recovery efforts before making a decision. "I wanna hear more about the experiences in the states and other countries where it is legal," he said. "It's a process; I think ultimately we'll get there but we need more information before a final decision is made."

    Source: NJTVonline.org on 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Nov 13, 2015

    Steve Fulop: Wait for other states to see pro's and con's of legalization

    Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without--so far--a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it.

    Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said he's still studying the issue. "I think that there's certainly pros and cons," he said this week, "and we've heard both sides of it and we're trying to learn what works in other states and it's very early in the conversation still and we wouldn't wanna do something that has an adverse impact on urban areas like the one I'm responsible for."

    Source: NJ-TV online on 2017 New Jersey Gubernatorial race Nov 13, 2015

    Steve Fulop: Study legalization of recreational cannabis in other states

    Given all that it took to get a medical marijuana program up and running in New Jersey, you might think that the idea of legalizing recreational use of cannabis would be low on the list of agenda items for lawmakers here. But, with states like Colorado and Oregon showing that legalization can prove to be a big budget boon without--so far--a terrible downside, New Jersey lawmakers are planning to at least start seriously talking about it.

    Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat, said he's still studying the issue. "I think that there's certainly pros and cons," he said this week, "and we've heard both sides of it and we're trying to learn what works in other states and it's very early in the conversation still and we wouldn't wanna do something that has an adverse impact on urban areas like the one I'm responsible for."

    Senator Ray Lesniak said he would consult with those involved in drug recovery efforts before making a decision.

    Source: NJTVonline.org on 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Nov 13, 2015

    Chris Christie: Drug addiction is a disease & it can be treated

    In these past two years, you've joined me in applying this principle to those who face special challenges in life, including the disease of drug addiction. In this last year, we expanded the mandatory drug court program you helped me enact into four new counties, building on those in which courts were established immediately after the law's enactment in 2013.

    I have a simple view of this. Drug addiction is a disease. It can happen to anyone, from any station in life. And it can be treated.

    Most importantly, every life is an individual gift from god and no life is disposable. We have an obligation to help people reclaim their lives. And if we have the tools to help those with this disease to save their own lives, we should use them.

    Requiring mandatory treatment instead of prison for non-violent drug offenders is only one step--but an important one. Treatment is the path to saving lives, and for as long as I am governor, treatment will be mandatory in our system and I will not yield

    Source: State of the State address to 2015 New Jersey Legislature Jan 13, 2015

    Cory Booker: The drug war is an abject failure

    As homicides surge in the city he governed for seven years, Booker said he's looking at several programs to overhaul the US criminal justice system and end the war on drugs, which he said fuels much of the violence.

    "I can say as a mayor who has been fighting on the front lines for years, the drug war is an abject failure," Booker said. "It's consumed egregious amounts of taxpayers' dollars. It hasn't achieved the public-safety aims of our streets, it's consumed human potential, it is a massive government overreach."

    He said the real answer to fighting crime is addressing poverty and poor education. "All of these things are things we should be working collaboratively on," Booker said.

    Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2014 New Jersey Senate race Jan 1, 2014

    Bonnie Watson Coleman: Decriminalize marijuana; implement alternative sentencing

    Source: New Jersey 2005-2006 Gubernatorial Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2005

    • The above quotations are from State of New Jersey Politicians: secondary Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
    • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
    2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
      Democrats running for President:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    2020 Third Party Candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Howard Schultz(I-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    Republicans running for President:
    Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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    Page last updated: Jan 27, 2021