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Phil Murphy Forces New Jersey Lawmakers to Consider Marijuana Legalization

By Adding Recreational Marijuana to the Budget, Lawmakers Have No Choice But to Decide

The man did basically promise his voters that if they elected him governor he would bring legalized recreational cannabis to New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy has run into a lot of roadblocks though as many state lawmakers just do not support the legalization of cannabis. He is determined to make adult-use cannabis available to the people of New Jersey though and so added legalization to the budget.

Governor Murphy’s budget includes passing a bill to make legal recreational cannabis available by January 1st, 2019 or else. The budget does not outline any details, however state legislators have until June 1st to come up with a bill to get cannabis legalized by his mandated date.

Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned last year on a pledge to allow adults to buy and consume marijuana. With his budget this week, the Democrat took his first formal step toward making that pledge a reality. Murphy’s budget proposal to lawmakers sets a Jan. 1, 2019, target for no-questions-asked marijuana sales to adults, and incorporates $80 million in proceeds from taxes on the drug into the state’s expected revenue.

While the budget doesn’t spell out details like how many dispensaries would sell marijuana or how they would be regulated, it does lay a marker for lawmakers to approve a bill legalizing marijuana by June 30. That’s the deadline for passing a budget, and it would give state officials just six months to develop rules for selling marijuana to potentially hundreds of thousands of people.

“Legalization will allow us to reinvest directly in our communities— especially the urban neighborhoods hardest hit by the misguided War on Drugs— in their economic development, in health care and housing, child care and after-school programs, and other critical areas,” Murphy said. “These investments will pay dividends far greater than the cost of mass incarceration.”

Most of the northeast seems be embracing recreational marijuana with most New England states having legalized or on on route to legalization. Do you think Governor Murphy’s tactics to force the legalization issue through the state budget will work?

read more at northjersey.com

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