New Jersey governor-elect Phil Murphy doesn’t succeed Chris Christie until next week, but already his fellow Democrats have introduced legislation to achieve one of his campaign promises, legalizing marijuana.
Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced the measure allowing the recreational use of marijuana by those 21 and older on Tuesday, the same day the new session of the Democrat-led Legislature convened.
The Justice Department last week overturned Obama administration guidelines that federal prosecutors shouldn’t interfere with states allowing people to legally use pot, but doesn’t change anything for New Jersey, Scutari said.
“We’re still going to move forward,” he said. “I think it’s going to be difficult for the federal government, especially without local law enforcement, to close it down.”
Murphy campaigned and won in November on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana. He has said legalization could bring in roughly $300 million in new revenue. New Jersey already has a medical cannabis program.
Christie, a Republican, has been a vocal opponent of legalization, referring to the prospect of tax revenue from marijuana as “blood money.” [Read more at ABC]