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New Jersey May Have to Wait Another Year Before They Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Last year when newly elected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took office, many were optimistic the state would legalize recreational marijuana as it was one of Murphy’s campaign goals. But now one year after Murphy took office, and it appears New Jersey will likely have to wait another year before legalization takes place.

Murphy’s progressive platform is likely being stalled as New Jersey prepares for state elections this November. This includes plans to give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, a tax increase proposal, an increase in the minimum wage and recreational marijuana legalization.

The biggest issue stalling the proposal is a divide in the Democratic Party. New Jersey Democrats are split between progressive minded liberals who share Murphy’s vision and more centrist Democrats who like parts of what he wants, but maybe don’t want to push things quite as far to the left as the governor wants. It doesn’t help that Murphy is also feuding with New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Murphy attempted to vote out Sweeney as the state Senate President in 2017, but the effort failed. So now the most powerful man in the state Senate has a personal reason to prevent Murphy’s agenda from coming to fruition, even though they’re both Democrats.

The hope is that the November elections will either push Democrats into one direction or the other, or at the very least allow the more centrist Democrats to approve Murphy’s agenda since they won’t have to worry about re-election in the immediate future.

So unfortunately, marijuana legalization is taking a backseat to political squabbling once again.

(h/​t North Jersey)

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