or to vote comment and more!
New Jersey lawmakers won’t pass a bill to decriminalize marijuana before noon next Tuesday, Senate President Steve Sweeney said on Monday.
“It’s not getting done in lame duck,” Sweeney told the New Jersey Globe.
While Sweeney and other top Democrats, including Gov. Phil Murphy and Assembly Speaker, have publicly backed decriminalization as a stop-gap measure as residents await a legalization referendum no the ballot this year, there’s been little action on the issue since the legislature’s legalization efforts came to a complete stop.
Nearly 2,000 New Jerseyans Tell Legislature: Legalize Marijuana through Legislation This Session
Days after plan announced to push ballot question to legalize marijuana, nearly 2,000 signers from NJ’s 21 counties demanded legislation that centers racial and social justice
Ballot measure plan delays justice, creates more red tape, and does not guarantee crucial racial and social justice provisions
Yesterday, on Nov. 18, Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced that the legislature would try to pass marijuana legalization through a ballot measure rather than legislation.
New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform issued the following statement in response:
For the second time this year, top Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey pulled the plug on legislation to legalize cannabis sales for recreational use, killing any likelihood Gov. Phil Murphy will deliver on a key campaign promise before 2021.
Instead, legislative leaders introduced a resolution Monday that would put a recreational use question on the November 2020 ballot. The resolution would need to pass both houses of the state Legislature by three-fifths majorities in one year or by simple majorities in consecutive years to make it onto the ballot.
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Nicholas Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following joint statement today announcing the introduction of legislation to seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use marijuana in New Jersey:
NJ Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver, Monmouth) wants voters to decide if should legalize recreational cannabis. If a bill recreational cannbis comes up, in lame-duck, O’Scanlon’s a NO vote.
“There’s legitimate value to be gained by waiting,” Sen O’Scanlon told InsiderNJ. “We’ll have a lot more info from other states and that’ll make a compelling (referendum) debate in November of 2020.”
Easily the most controversial matter lawmakers are likely to tackle during the next two months is whether to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use.
Efforts to reform New Jersey’s marijuana laws have been complicated, largely because of opposition from the Republicans in the legislature. Those efforts will face a slightly tougher road following Tuesday’s election, where the GOP picked up seats in the Assembly, as well as one seat in the Senate. That said, lawmakers have said they may take a shot at passing a legalization bill in the lame duck session before the newly formulated legislature is seated.
State Sen. Ron Rice doesn’t want lawmakers to take up marijuana legalization during the lame duck session.
“I have as much respect for corralling votes during lame duck sessions as I do for hunting wounded game birds. It seems rather opportunistic and predatory,” Rice said. “Because the practice doesn’t allow for proper debate and deliberation, it doesn’t show much respect for the citizens it impacts, and when the matter is as serious as legalizing marijuana in a state as densely populated and complicated as ours, the impact can be life-changing on all levels.”
Lawmakers in New Jersey will try again to make adult-use cannabis legal in their state, according to a story from NJ.com. The story reports that New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney says there is a “50/50” possibility it may actually happen this time. He also says he will “put his best effort into it”.