The election of Phil Murphy as New Jersey governor is a watershed moment for marijuana users, growers and sellers. Murphy, a Democrat, has pledged to legalize recreational marijuana. He easily defeated his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who favored decriminalization of personal possession and use.
A significant number of Democratic lawmakers, who control the state Legislature, say they would have voted for legalization before now if not for the opposition and certain veto by Gov. Chris Christie.
Murphy says he’ll send a legalization bill to lawmakers within his first 100 days. He supports it, he says, to address social injustice created by disparate arrest and conviction rates for blacks and whites — not to turn it into a cash crop for the state.
If the Legislature votes to legalize, New Jersey would become the ninth state to do so. There is opposition in the Legislature, much of it from minority Republicans. State Sen. Mike Doherty, R-Warren/Hunterdon County, considers marijuana a gateway to harder drugs.
What do you think? Should New Jersey make marijuana legal for those 21 and over? Have a