I, Kyle Moore, candidate for the Legalize Marijuana Party (LMP), am running in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District for the U.S. House in 2016.
The New Jersey Legalize Marijuana Party (LMP) was founded by NJWeedman in 1998. He ran for numerous political positions in the state, including the U.S. House for the Third Congressional District . Other than NJWeedman, I am the only other candidate to ever run under the LMP. At the age of 25, this is my first run for political office. NJWeedman served as a threat to the two main political parties by garnering thousands of votes each election. Despite not having major campaign funds, NJWeedman finished in third place several times, stealing thousands of votes from the Prohibitionists. For this reason NJWeedman was purposely barred from campaigning in several elections, including in 2014, when the Democratic State Committee successfully challenged his required signatures in a record-breaking 15-hour “marathon hearing.”
Today, more than half the state of NJ supports full legalization, while many more support some kind of decriminalization. This makes the Legalize Marijuana Party the most threatening Third Party in the state. Cannabis is no longer just in the counter-culture; it is now on Main Street. If the Democrats and Republicans campaign on a prohibitionist platform, they can expect to lose thousands of votes from the LMP this year. The time to act is now!
I am running on a platform to regulate and tax recreational cannabis for those over the age of 21 in the state of NJ. As of now, four states and D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis, while at least 23 states passed cannabis reforms of some kind. The year 2016 is expected to be the most important year for cannabis legalization, with seven state legalization bills filed already. If NJ doesn’t legalize cannabis soon, the state’s economy will miss out on the badly needed Green Rush stemming from legalization. For this reason I attended and fully supported the state’s first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on cannabis legalization in November 2015.
I pledge to restore the state’s economy by taxing and regulating the sale of cannabis, rather than waste millions of taxpayers dollars to arrest cannabis users. In the first 11 months of 2015, Colorado was just shy of reaching $1 billion in weed sales. This is incredible considering Colorado only has a population of 5.4 million, almost half of New Jersey’s population of nearly 9 million. Similar to Colorado, I plan on divesting the millions of dollars from pot taxes to fund schools, healthcare, social programs and preventative drug programs.
The New Jim Crow
I pledge to end the Mass Incarceration of cannabis consumers by passing both Decriminalization and Legalization bills. The War on Drugs is a racist program that is really a War on Humans, particularly poor people of color. Michelle Alexander correctly linked cannabis prohibition to the “New Jim Crow”, which has made the U.S. the worldwide leader of mass incarceration. The 2010 NJ-ACLU Report showed that black persons were 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white persons, despite equal usage. The report also listed six NJ counties with racial disparity arrests above the national average of 3.73. This included Ocean County – one of the County’s to have municipalities part of the Third District – at a whopping 4.8 racial disparity arrest rate.
Despite the fact that NJ passed a medical marijuana program in 2010, cannabis arrests have continued to skyrocket in the state under Governor Chris Christie. NJ cannabis arrests shot up 10 percent in 2012 and 2013. The 24,765 arrests in 2013 served as the highest amount of arrests for pot in 20 years, nearly double the amount arrested in 1993. In the five years prior to 2013, the average amount of arrests each year was close to 22,000. Arrests for cannabis continued to rise in 2015. I do not believe one more person deserves to be arrested for choosing to partake in the consumption of a safe plant. The state wastes up to $127 million a year to conduct cannabis arrests. The punishment is almost as bad, with first time offenders potentially facing six months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. For the state as a whole, cannabis arrests account for 57 percent of all drug arrests, “more than all other drug possession and sales arrests combined.”
Plan of Action
First, I will gather the required 100 signatures to be placed on the ballot, while also registering new voters. I will set up campaign tables throughout the District to develop a rapport with local citizens, where I will distribute pamphlets and educational literature on cannabis so as to combat the lies spread through government propaganda. This is the educational stage of the operation that will properly inform the public about the benefits of legalization.
This will be followed by a civic action stage, in which citizens can become involved in the political process through local, grassroots organizing. This will involve organizing community meetings and lobbying local officials. As a proud citizen of Burlington County for the last 25 years, I will personally lobby the Burlington County Freeholders as well as other City Council’s, urging them to pass several types of cannabis resolutions or bills. This includes the non-binding Resolution passed unanimously by Asbury Park City Council members in the summer of 2015 (I spoke on behalf of this Resolution when it was shot down by Trenton City Council in November 2015, and I introduced the same Resolution to the Cinnaminson Township Committee in December, but it was denied).
Under the LMP, I will continue to organize nonviolent marches, Smoke-Downs, Smoke-Outs, pickets, massive rallies, Die-Ins and other protests, just as I have done over the last two years. Flyers for protests will also be distributed at the campaign tables, creating a new way for the cannabis movement to reach the general public. The LMP is currently planning rallies for the Spring of 2016, expected to take place in Trenton. More actions will be organized throughout the year in Burlington County (Mt. Holly) and elsewhere. Every moment cannabis remains illegal, we destroy the moral fabric of society. Only through civil disobedience can we begin to repair our moral conscience as a nation.
-Kyle Moore, NJ Legalize Marijuana Party candidate in the Third Congressional District.
www.facebook.com/NJLMP420 (Facebook/NJ Legalize Marijuana Party)
Contact #: (856) 313-1244