Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t giving up hope for a marijuana cleanup bill after a previous effort stalled over objections launched by black and Latino legislators Friday that charged penalties for underage use in the now-defunct bill would negatively, and disproportionally, affect black and Latino youths.
“We knew this wouldn’t be easy, and I’m still optimistic we’ll figure something out,” Murphy said at an unrelated press conference Monday morning.
The governor declined to say whether he would sign marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills absent a separate measure outlining penalties for underage use, as legislators called for last week.
The cleanup bill went into the dirt Friday after objections from top lawmakers on marijuana and from the Legislative Black and Latino Caucuses.