Stephen Sweeney, New Jersey Senate President and co-sponsor of an ambitious bill to expand medical cannabis access and legalize marijuana for adult use, told reporters that he expects the state Senate to hold a vote on legalizing cannabis as early as September. But exactly what lawmakers will be voting on is still unclear. The current proposal, a combined medical and adult-use bill, still needs revision and debate in committee before it can come to a vote. Senate President Sweeney, however, says that despite the long odds and polarized opposition, lawmakers are “getting much closer” to voting on legal marijuana.
New Jersey Lawmakers Struggle To Draft Legalization Bill
Given the progress Gov. Phil Murphy has made on marijuana since taking office, you wouldn’t think the state legislature has been the scene of several delayed negotiations and bitter debates over the prospect of legal adult-use cannabis.
Governor Murphy campaigned on legalizing marijuana and expanding access to medical cannabis. Earlier this year, Murphy delivered on the latter promise, adding more qualifying conditions and growing the program to nearly 25,000 patients.
Yet Gov. Murphy seems to be deferring to lawmakers on the adult-use question. Back in June, State Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced a bill