Talk has gotten increasingly louder in Trenton lately that New Jersey’s leaders are losing hope they’ll be able to secure enough votes in the state Legislature to legalize marijuana and may have the state’s voters decide at the ballot box instead.
But Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday he hasn’t given up on passing the bill, even though he admitted a voter referendum is a possibility.
“We came very close to this not that long ago,” Murphy said during an unrelated news conference outside his office in Trenton. “It just didn’t get there.”
“The referendum has always been out there as an option,” the Democratic governor added. “Only one state has done this legislatively. That’s Vermont.”
“We have felt that this is a better way to go,” Murphy continued. “It takes more courage. It’s a tough vote for many. We understand that. That’s still, in my opinion, the preferred route. I want to exhaust that with legislative leadership before we talk about a plan B.”