Days Until Marijuana Vote: It’s ‘a Black and White Decision’ for Murphy
Legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana for adults was approved earlier this week by committees in both the Assembly and State Senate.
That sets up a showdown vote in the Legislature that’s expected to take place Monday.
Not surprisingly, Gov. Phil Murphy, who’s in favor of legal weed, is pulling out all the stops, trying to convince lawmakers who have not made up their mind on the issue to support it.
“This is a huge step in undoing enormous inequities that have built up over decades, undo decades of social injustices, put the business into the hands of the good guys and gals," Murphy said Tuesday in Maplewood. "It’s a black and white decision for me.”
Murphy declined to discuss what specific Assembly and State Senate representatives he’s been talking to, but indicated more votes are needed.
“We still have a ways to go, let me just say that. We’re working the phones hard; we all have to pull our weight. I have no reason to believe we all are not, but it’s going to be an all-in. It’s going to take a village to get this one done.”
Murphy then seemed to be talking directly to legislators who still have doubts about the wisdom of making recreational weed legal.
“I remind everybody who’s looking at this who may have some skepticism, the status quo, if we don’t get this done, our kids are exposed, there are huge racial injustices, the bad guys run the business and they make all the money," he said.
“We have a chance to protect our kids. This is 21 years up and older. We’re not inventing marijuana, by the way. That exists."
Late in the day, the Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted support for legal weed in the Garden State:
“Received a briefing from @GovMurphy on the marijuana legalization bill in NJ. Very impressed by the strong social justice components - expedited expungement, virtual expungement, and M/WBE prioritization. It's time to get this passed NJ!!!"