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.”
A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces comprehensive criminal justice reform — including a process to legalize marijuana — and focuses on creating housing that is affordable and safe from the danger of lead. #NewDayNJ
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) January 16, 2018
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.
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.
Cannabis is a major issue in a number of 2018 gubernatorial races.
Photo courtesy of Phil Murphy.