With marijuana reform looking more and more imminent, the Asbury Park Press looks at how marijuana-related crimes can/should/will be expunged from peoples’ records in the aftermath, which is a fun time to revisit that quote from John Erlichman, who reportedly told a reporter in the 1990s, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”
Erlichman’s kids dispute that quote, but why should we expect them to know what dad was up to in the Nixon White House.
Anyway, a bill from Annette Quijano wants to make expungement automatic, since otherwise you have to pay a lawyer (Side question: Do lawyers make laws?) and poor people, by definition, don’t really have the money for that. There’s also a bill by Troy Singleton that “sets up a framework for automatic expungement” in the APP’s words. But there have been nearly 700,000 marijuana arrests in New Jersey since 1980, meaning the number of eligible cases would be in the hundreds of thousands. “That’s a huge burden for the courts system or county prosecutors, who would have to investigate each conviction to determine which are eligible for expungement.”
The director of Alcoholic Beverage Control for the state, David Rible, issued a “special ruling” the other day limiting microbreweries to 25 onsite events per year, saying a 2012 law was meant to create demand for craft beer, not create a new class of venues, which is sad, if you happen to like that new class of venues. It’s unclear what this all means, but it could have ripple effects across towns with microbreweries, as the story from the Courier Post amply demonstrates.
Breweries, under the new rules, got the ok to do 12 off-premise events a year, so hopefully that means more locally-made beer at festivals, etc.
In related news, that Asbury Park Roasted Stout looks delicious.
Also related: Stockton University is applying for a liquor license for a bar at its Atlantic City campus. There’s a public meeting this afternoon at 3.30 pm at City Hall. (Side note – if you thought it would be easy for the public to view liquor-license applications, you’d be wrong.)
Register to Vote
It’s National Voter Registration Day, so I’ve taken it upon myself to write a little jingle to encourage all the millennials out there to cast their ballots.
Take it from me, don’t be a dope
This coming November, t’will be time to Vote!
Verily, it’s our Democracy
And if you don’t do something, it’s OPEN SEASON FOR EVERY OLIGARCH ON THE PLANET.
See NJTV’s handy checklist to make sure you’re on the rolls!
For more feats of journalism…