Shannon Garner has been reading up on the state’s proposed legislation to legalize marijuana, so he can get in on the ground floor to possibly own and operate a cannabis shop one day.
“I’d be willing to try,” said Garner, 43, a Newark resident. “That’s a great business.”
But like many people from urban communities who have been disparately affected by the nation’s drug laws, Garner needs a marijuana possession charge expunged from his record.
His incident occurred 20 years ago in Virginia, when he was a college student, but the charge unfortunately remains on the record of this criminal-justice graduate from Elizabeth City University in North Carolina.
Garner, however, is not discouraged from the prospect of getting into the cannabis industry after learning about New Jersey Minority Alliance. This statewide organization has a proposal to make sure nonviolent offenders like Garner and urban communities adversely impacted by drug laws are not left out of the industry.
Organization members, including one of its co-founders, Dana Rone, who is also the Essex County registrar of deeds and mortgages,