Two sources have told the New Jersey Globe that Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, the running mate of fierce marijuana legalization opponent Sen. Ronald Rice, has indicated she will vote in favor of marijuana legalization.
While Tucker’s vote may prove instrumental in helping Assembly Democrats reach the 41-vote threshold they need to pass the legalization bill backed by Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders, the revelation may not amount to much.
Thus far, the state’s legalization efforts face their biggest roadblock in the state senate, where 11 Democrats are opposed to or undecided on the weed bill.
Since he came on as Assembly Speaker last year, Craig Coughlin has taken pains to protect the members of his caucus.
There’s little chance, sources say, the marijuana bill gets a vote in the Assembly if the legislature’s upper chamber is unable to gin up the 21 votes needed to pass it there.
A source told the New Jersey Globe Tucker flipped as a result of lobbying by Gov. Phil Murphy.
At a marijuana press conference Thursday afternoon, Murphy declined to say whether his whipping efforts had flipped any Democratic no votes.