New Jersey Lawmakers Expected to Place Legalization Question Before Voters

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney indicated this week that lawmakers will likely let voters decide in 2020 on whether to legalize the adult use of marijuana.

Senator Sweeney acknowledged on Wednesday that lawmakers are at an impasse regarding pending legislation to tax and regulate the adult use marijuana market. As a result, he says that they will likely place an initiative question before voters next November.

Assembly and Senate lawmakers were initially expected to decide on the issue in March. However, plans for a Senate floor vote were pulled after it became apparent that the measure lacked majority support in the legislature’s upper house.

Lawmakers are still anticipated to move forward with votes later this year on legislative efforts to greatly expand the state’s medical cannabis access program and to facilitate the expungement of past, low-level cannabis convictions.

According to a February poll conducted by Monmouth University, 62 percent of New Jerseyans believe that the possession and use of marijuana should be legal, and 74 percent support the expungement of past marijuana convictions.

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