Gov. Phil Murphy said he is confident the Legislature will be ready to vote on a bill by the end of October that would legalize adult-use, recreational marijuana.
Murphy, at a Facebook town hall event on Monday afternoon, said he believes the vote would come “sooner than later.”
“I think the Senate President said something to the vein of trying to bring it to a vote Oct. 29,” Murphy said. “He and the Speaker are much closer in control of the Legislature, but based on the tenor of discussions and give and take that we’ve got, that feels about right.”
Last week, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, told reporters that he is aiming for an Oct. 29 vote in both the Assembly and Senate for a bill legalizing recreational cannabis.
Murphy said that whatever legislation comes to his desk needs to handle three parts. First is an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, going beyond the six new dispensaries and the new medical conditions eligible for a prescription of medicinal weed which Murphy enacted via executive order.
Second, the bill needs to handle the white to nonwhite gap of persons incarcerated because of low-level marijuana offenses.
Third, the legislation needs to include a “look-back provision” to expunge marijuana criminal records for activities that would be legal under the legislation.