Home>Governor>No commitment on Murphy marijuana proposals, Coughlin tells Dems

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

No commitment on Murphy marijuana proposals, Coughlin tells Dems

Governor, lawmakers seeking a relationship reset

By Nikita Biryukov, June 10 2019 3:46 pm

Though legislative leaders are attempting to work with Gov. Phil Murphy on changes to a medical marijuana bill pulled from the board Monday, they aren’t making any promises.

“There’s no commitment to do any of the things that are in their request, only to look at it, and we have the luxury now of not having a bill that is already passed,” Coughlin told members of his caucus in a closed-door meeting Monday. “We have the luxury of making the change anyway, and we have 10 days before our next voting session, so let’s see what we can do.”

The New Jersey Globe obtained the recording from a member of the Assembly majority caucus who provided it on the condition of anonymity.

In a press gaggle on Monday, Coughlin told reporters that he hadn’t yet looked into the governor’s proposals.

“The truth of the matter is we got the comments on Friday,” Coughlin said. “I was a little occupied over the weekend, so I’m not willing or able to speak to what is exactly included in that, but we’ll start to take a deeper dive on those today.”

Despite their past disagreements on the specifics of medical marijuana expansion, the state’s top Democrats are attempting to reset their relationship, which has grown increasingly tense over Murphy’s use of his veto pen.

Sweeney has repeatedly expressed his discontent over Murphy’s vetoes, but Coughlin has largely eschewed publicly criticizing the governor.

“In order to try to set a tone and in order to try to avoid the kind of things that I’m — I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of having happen where we are constantly at odds,” Coughlin told his caucus. “I solicited from the governor’s office comments that they would want to have in that medical marijuana bill so we don’t have to pass it out get a CV and work from that position. Let’s try working in a different way.”

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