Sweeney partially blamed Murphy for jumping the gun on his intent to expand medical marijuana access. Sweeney apparently asked Murphy to hold off on that announcement.
“I reject being blamed for trying to help citizens out who have nowhere else to turn, whose lives are at stake or quality of life is a stake,” the governor said. “I wouldn’t call that blame. This is my responsibility as governor.”
Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) remained a key voice in the political pot wilderness as she offered a anti-marijuana manifesto that left Democrats bewildered. All the political wheel of fortune dealing could not move Turner from her stance against marijuana legalization.
Turner said she had been offered the moon leading up to an eventual quashed vote.
“I’m not that kind of politician,” Sen. Turner offered in a phone conversation in late April. Turner forwarded a prepared document that she had dispensed to colleagues, one that voiced her concerns about marijuana legalization.
Turner made a determined and thorough plea to constituents before Sweeney pulled the measure. The political warhorse pulled no punches.
"I am opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana and S2703; however, I do support medical marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana. Additionally, I would not oppose a ballot initiative to allow the voters to decide on this issue; with the exception of Vermont, every other state has legalized marijuana via ballot initiative. An issue of this magnitude should be decided by the voters and not left up to just 121 people," Turner explained.