NJ Pot Legalization To Go On 2020 Ballot

Phil Murphy
Photo credit © Amy Newman/NorthJersey.com
By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) New Jersey voters are going to decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The State Senate President announced today the issue will be on the 2020 ballot.

The decision was made because there weren’t enough votes in the New Jersey State Senate to legalize pot for recreational use.

“It must be said, it’s hard to do it legislatively, I admit. One state in the history of our country has done it and that’s Vermont and we’re a lot more complicated,” said Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday.

Democratic Senate President Steven Sweeney says instead the legislature will focus on a bill that would expunge marijuana criminal records and expaningd the state's medical marijuana program.

A measure to legalize recreational weed for those 21 and over while also allowing marijuana-related convictions to be wiped clean failed to get enough support in March.

The question of actually legalizing the drug with thus will go to the voters.

Every state that has legalized weed has done so through ballot referendum except for Vermont and the issue on the ballot should only add to what will be a high turnout presidential election.

The failure of the bill to pass the legislature is a blow to Democrats, most significantly to Gov. Phil Murphy, who made legalizing pot one of his central campaign promises.

The governor is expected to speak about the issue of legal marijuana at an event later Wednesday afternoon in Mercer County.