Incoming New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) made history yesterday as the first elected governor to commit to legalizing recreational marijuana in an inauguration speech.
“A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces criminal justice reform comprehensively, and that includes a process to legalize marijuana,” Murphy pledged shortly after being sworn in as New Jersey's 56th governor.
The new regime followed that up by adding marijuana reform to the administration's mandate on the revamped gubernatorial website. As Tom Angell of Marijuana Moment first reported, the website now includes legalization under the list of 'Key Initiatives' for the incoming administration.
"He will end mass incarceration by pursuing the legalization of marijuana and comprehensively reviewing all criminal sentencing laws," the website says.
That's a much needed breath of fresh air following the beleaguered regime of former Governor Chris Christie, who not only virulently opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, he also accused states that collected tax revenues through legalization of reaping "blood money." But New Jerseyans closed that chapter in the state's history by voting for Murphy last November instead of continuing the Christie administration's tarnished legacy by electing his second-in-command, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
Now New Jersey is in a race to become the 9th state to legalize recreational marijuana and the first to do so through the state legislature rather than ballot initiative. Their rival for that honor is Vermont, which is expected to sign legalization into law as early as this week. But there's nothing wrong with being number 10.
h/t Marijuana Moment