Lawmakers in New Jersey recently passed the buck and excused themselves of having to legalize recreational cannabis in the state, according to a press conference from NJ state Senate President Steve Sweeney. Politico covered the story.
This statement flies in the face of the thousands – probably millions – of New Jersey residents who would welcome legal recreational cannabis in the state. It is surprising and hard to believe that voters didn’t turn up to vote in favor of adult-use cannabis in the Garden State. NJ State lawmakers like Sweeney believe it can be done through voting in the 2020 general election.
“The votes aren’t there. I’m disappointed. The 2020 general election, I think, will be successful, and we will move forward with adult use,” Sweeney said.
As most politicians love to do, Sweeney evaded responsibility and blamed the lack of votes for adult-use cannabis on another politician, or the taxpaying people – in this specific case, he said Gov. Phil Murphy was to blame.
“I know the governor tried. We would speak two or three times a week when we were trying to get it done, but there was never a list of votes provided to me to show they were close. The governor didn’t listen to the advice that legislators gave him,” Sweeney said.
Cannabis freedom advocates in the Garden State might wonder where these out of touch lawmakers are getting their information. Clearly, there are plenty of advocates of adult-use legal cannabis to be found in New Jersey.
Naturally, Gov. Phil Murphy refused to take responsibility for failing to further an adult-use cannabis legalization bill in the state of New Jersey. Instead, he fell back on his work in approving medical cannabis in the state.
“I reject being blamed for trying to help citizens out who have nowhere else to turn, whose lives are at stake or quality of life is a stake. I wouldn’t call that blame. This is my responsibility as governor,” Murphy said.
It’s abundantly clear that most lawmakers will not step up and take any kind of responsibility when it comes to legalizing cannabis, or even to help further cannabis research to remove the schedule one designation of the plant medicine, particularly those at the federal level. These facts outline the necessity for we the people to continue to speak out in favor of legal cannabis, especially for those patients who are sick and need it the most.