Article from Reason by Joe Setyon.

A New Jersey sheriff is under fire for a recording in which he is reportedly heard making racially charged comments about black people and marijuana. He also allegedly claimed the state’s Sikh attorney general was appointed only due to his “turban” and speculated about the sexual orientation of New Jersey’s unmarried lieutenant governor.

Details of the recording, which was obtained yesterday by the public radio station WNYC, were made public as New Jersey gets closer to legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who took office in January, promised during his campaign to legalize weed, and the state legislature generally seems to support the idea, as Reason‘s Eric Boehm reported last month.

Not all elected officials in the state agree. After Murphy was sworn in on January 16, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino reportedly disparaged the new governor’s inauguration speech. Speaking with colleagues in a county office building, he took issue with Murphy’s views on criminal justice reform. According to WNYC, Saudino said:

Saudino’s alleged comments linking African Americans to marijuana aren’t even accurate. The Washington Post reportedin 2013 that black and white people consume marijuana at about the same rate, although black people are far more likely to be arrested for doing so. That’s why, as Reason‘s Jacob Sullum has noted, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supports legalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Jamelle Bouie [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons