New Jersey is a clear example of voter power and the difference that making it to the ballot box can make. Governor Chris Christie is in opposition of marijuana legalization and kept back the limited medical marijuana program New Jersey already has in place.
With Phil Murphy in office, the Garden State will now take on a completely new stance on marijuana. Before Murphy has even taken office, a bill is already being looked at by New Jersey legislators.
As pointed out last month, a vote for Democrat Phil Murphy meant a vote for creating a state-regulated adult-use marijuana industry. During the campaign, Murphy promised to sign a bill creating a legalized marijuana market in New Jersey during his first 100 days in office. That bill already is moving through the state Legislature.
Murphy will be inaugurated governor in January 2018. The bill legalizing recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey is still working through revisions in the state Legislature.
For his part, Murphy has said he will sign it. His argument is that criminalization of marijuana has destroyed many lives, particularly in minority communities. In the final debate before the election, he said New Jersey has the dubious honor of having “the widest white, non-white gap of persons incarcerated in America.”
Unlike the west coast, the east coast of the United States has not embraced the legalization of marijuana. Once legal recreational marijuana is available in New Jersey, do you think more states on the east coast will also begin embracing legalized recreational marijuana?