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New Jersey Governor Promises Legal Marijuana In Inauguration Speech



New Jersey’s new governor reiterated a campaign promise to legalize marijuana during his inauguration speech on Tuesday.

“A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces criminal justice reform comprehensively, and that includes a process to legalize marijuana,” Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said moments after being sworn in as the state’s chief executive.

The newly revamped gubernatorial website now says the incumbent “will end mass incarceration by pursuing the legalization of marijuana and comprehensively reviewing all criminal sentencing laws.”

Murphy campaigned on legalization, often touting its economic and social justice benefits in the face of opposition from Republican Kim Guadagno, whom he soundly defeated in November.

New Jersey’s Next Governor Promises Marijuana Legalization

Outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is an ardent opponent of legalizing marijuana who often said it would never happen on his watch.

Now, the Garden State is poised to be one of the next to end cannabis prohibition. The Senate president says he is ready to pass a bill, and the sponsor of legalization legislation wants to send it to Murphy’s desk within 100 days.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who was sworn in over the weekend, campaigned on decriminalizing marijuana in his state.

New Virginia Governor Pledges Marijuana Decriminalization

Cannabis is a major issue in a number of 2018 gubernatorial races.

Photo courtesy of Phil Murphy.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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