Murphy fails on marijuana (Opinion)
Gov. Phil Murphy won't be able to brine his way out of this one.
Monday could have been a day of history in New Jersey. After being talked about and debated so long, legalized recreational marijuana fell apart when the vote was canceled since Murphy could not convince a handful of senators to embrace the idea. A majority vote in the Senate would be 21. The legislation had 18 hard yes votes. Despite Murphy's full court press, a Democratic governor couldn't get the job done with a Democratic legislature.
This idea began years ago. Sen. Scutari introduced this legislation under anti-marijuana Chris Christie. Scutari admitted it was doomed under such a governor and that he introduced it to get the conversation started. It could have come to fruition Monday, but it was not to be. After campaigning on this, then vowing he could get it done in his first 90 days, Murphy never showed enough leadership to get it off the ground. Delay after delay, with many bouts of infighting, his entire first year in office came and went without the promise fulfilled. It finally came down to a grand announcement several weeks ago among Democratic leaders and our governor that they had finally reached a legislative package to legalize marijuana.
Now it won't even be reconsidered until after the fall elections. With Murphy's statement a few days ago of, "It's Monday or never" is there really any reason to believe New Jersey will ever have it at all? Recent polls showed the majority of New Jerseyans wanted legalization. It's shocking that on an issue embraced by the people, with a Democratic legislature at his fingertips, Murphy didn't have the leadership to sway a few votes. Is this what happens when a man who has never held elected office before becomes governor? Trenton is not Goldman Sachs. Murphy already proved himself in shady hiring practices and the lack of ability to manage snow storms. Now he's shown he sucks at making deals too.
More from New Jersey 101.5