The New Jersey Senate will not vote on a bill to legalize marijuana today after it became clear the upper house could not get the 21 votes needed to pass the measure.
This puts an end, for now, to Gov. Phil Murphy’s top legislative initiative.
“While this legislation is not advancing today, I remain committed to its passage,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “The Senate was very close to 21 votes and, with more education and advocacy, I believe we will get this legislation across the finish line.”
The State Assembly had the votes to pass the enabling legislation today, but Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin would not post the measure for a vote until the Senate had their votes intact.
“While we are all disappointed that we did not secure enough votes to ensure legislative approval of the adult use cannabis bill today, we made substantial progress on a plan that would make significant changes in social policy,” Sweeney said. “This fight is not over. We need to learn from this experience and continue to move forward.”
Sweeney praised Murphy’s handling of the failed bill.
“Governor Murphy has shown real leadership in driving this issue,” Sweeney said. “He worked with Speaker Coughlin, with me and with the bill’s sponsors and social justice advocates in a shared commitment to change failed drug laws and reform the criminal justice system.”