TRENTON — Minutes after being chosen Monday as the next speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, Craig Coughlin declined to commit to a key goal of Gov.-elect and fellow Democrat Phil Murphy: legalizing marijuana.
Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said during a news conference that he has “not indicated” whether or not he supports legal pot.
“I want to make sure it makes sense,” said Coughlin, a member of the Assembly since 2010 . “As with any bill — particularly any bill that would create something new — I think the devil is really in the details. And I think we need to understand it in its totality.”
“Even if we’re going to do it, I want to make sure the bill is the right bill,” he added.
After eight years of frequent battles with Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Democrats will control the governor’s seat and both houses of the state Legislature once Murphy is sworn in Jan. 16.
Assembly Democrats voted Monday to make Coughlin its new leader come Jan. 9, when he will be sworn in to replace current Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Hudson.