Yet another delay but It's Coming Soon!
The top lawmakers in the state Legislature said Monday say they have scrapped a plan to vote Oct. 29 on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey because they remain at odds with Gov. Phil Murphy over what the law should say.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, vowed the vote will occur before the end of the year.
They also stressed that "very few" points of contention are left to hash out with the Murphy administration, and remain optimistic they could reach an accord.
The latest delay-- one in a series of soft deadlines lawmakers have bandied about -- does not come as a surprise. Any bill must pass committee hearings in both houses of the Legislature and no hearings have been scheduled.
But the admission by Coughlin and Sweeney shows how much more work remains for what is a top priority for Sweeney and Murphy, a fellow Democrat, since January.
"This is a seismic shift in public policy, and the creation of a new industry. We want to make sure we get it right," Coughlin said during an unrelated press conference at the Statehouse in Trenton. "If that takes more time, so be it."
Why the delay on legal weed? Murphy and Sweeney point fingers
There are still too few Senators willing to vote yes to make marijuana sales legal, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said.
Sweeney, who last month said he was certain Oct. 29 was a likely date for the vote, said picking a target has helped drive the discussions within both houses and the governor's staff.
"If we did not put a date on this, we would be talking about this next October," Sweeney said Monday. "That's why we have been putting so much effort and time into it."
As we thought this was going to be the day it is pushed off again. The legislature is so skittish at election time that the thought of loosing a vote over the passage of so called "drugs' makes these weak politicians useless as usual. It still looks like we can get this done this year. Keep pressure on your state reps and senators. We are awaiting the decriminalization to announce some very interesting gatherings and events. This will be worth the wait. Murphy is ALL IN!