Fate Of Legal Pot In NJ Uncertain Ahead Of Monday Vote

March 22, 2019 - 12:46 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Gov. Phil Murphy is still attempting to corral support ahead of Monday’s vote on legalizing recreational marijuana.

Murphy could use the vote of former governor, and now senator Dick Cody, who is opposed to legalization.

“Law enforcement has big concerns, the drug and alcohol community has big concerns about it and I want to wait to see the results of Colorado," said Cody.

Cody appeared with Gov. Murphy at a press conference at St. Barnabas Hospital to announce that New Jersey will be creating its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Murphy said, “I'm not going to talk about any individual, even those who may be standing with me, and secondly we are not there yet. We have made some good progress.”

He added that if the vote fails on recreational marijuana, he plans to dramatically increase the medical marijuana market, giving the 42,000 New Jerseyans with prescriptions for the drug more places to get it.

Meanwhile, the mayors of Newark and Jersey City announced their support for the cannabis legalization bill after getting assurance from state leaders that they will continue to seek full automatic expungement of past low-level marijuana convictions.

"This legislation has the ability to give hope and new beginnings to communities that have historically dealt with the impacts of failed drug policy and the criminalization of communities of color, disenfranchised and poor communities which have disproportionately been impacted," mayors Ras J. Baraka and Steve Fulop said in a joint statement. "No matter Monday’s outcome, our stance still remains that the state must be diligent in creating the mechanism to ensure that the expungement process is automatic for all non-violent cannabis arrests.  From day one, we have been vocal on this issue and working with our State leadership on this and making recommendations on an ongoing basis."