Many people have kept an eye on New Jersey to legalize recreational marijuana ever since they elected pro-legalization Governor Phil Murphy last November. And it appears it may finally be on the horizon.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said in an interview with Politico that he believes a bill to legalize recreational marijuana will pass the state's legislature in September. While a significant number of New Jersey politicians say they will not vote for a legalization bill, Sweeney says that he expects many of those no's to become yes's when a bill is actually introduced next month.
Assuming Sweeney's correct about the votes, the only issue remaining is what New Jersey's marijuana legalization bill will actually include. Murphy wants to tax recreational marijuana at 25 percent, while Sweeney believes that number is too high and wouldn't incentivize people to leave the black market. There's also some debate still over how to handle people with past convictions for marijuana.
Of course, we've heard similar promises before. Murphy said he would legalize recreational marijuana within his first 100 days in office, which didn't happen, and then the state legislature was supposed to hold a legalization vote in June but was forced to delay it, presumably because they didn't think they would have the votes.
So either New Jersey will legalize marijuana next month, or we'll put out another story about how they had to delay the process once again.