It wasn't supposed to go down this way. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made marijuana legalization a focal point for his administration, and surveys found that a majority of people in New Jersey supported legalization. But New Jersey lawmakers disagreed on the issue for a number of reasons, many of them revolving around the proposed law’s social justice component, and now the future of legalization in the Garden State is in question.
In March, a vote was called off on legalizing recreational marijuana because not enough votes were there in the state senate to pass the bill, according to NJ.com. But the issue is not dead. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said, “we’ll be back at this,” and Gov. Murphy promised, "We still stay in the fight. We will get there."
It’s possible the issue could come up again for a vote later this year, although no firm date has been set yet.
So what went wrong? Here’s a look at two of the issues that derailed the vote, based on reporting from NJ.com, the Asbury Park Press and the New York Times.