New Jersey Governor Doubles Down on Marijuana Legalization

Legalize marijuanaDuring a budget address on Tuesday, March 13th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy doubled down on his commitment to legalize marijuana in the Garden State this year.

A budget overview document released in tandem with his address states that “this Administration plans to legalize adult-use marijuana by January 1, 2019. The State will also move forward with expanding access to medical marijuana to alleviate patient suffering. Governor Murphy is ready to end the cycle of non-violent, low-level drug offenses holding individuals back.”

Governor Murphy campaigned heavily on a pledge to legalize marijuana and today’s address makes clear he continues to push forward on his promise. Recently, some legalization opponents have begun to push for a watered down version of decriminalization as a way to derail the fight for full legalization and regulation. Governor Murphy was having none of it.

“Decriminalization alone will not put the corner dealer out of business, it will not help us protect our kids, and it will not end the racial disparities we see. If these are our goals – as they must be – then the only sensible option is the careful legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana sales to adults,” stated Murphy during his budget address.

In addition to advocating for full legalization, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy has already began a process to expand the state’s struggling medical marijuana program. In January, he signed an executive order calling on regulators to review the state’s eight-year-old medical cannabis access program and to recommend ways to increase participation from patients and physicians.

“Our goal is to modernize the program in New Jersey, bring it up to current standards, and put patients first,” he said.


53 thoughts


      1. Go rat-fuck someone else’s website JD. We’re busy legalizing marijuana in here.
        Got a problem with something missing? Represent. Become a delegate at your state and local party convention and draw up a resolution for marijuana legalization and save your capslock for “WHEREAS WE LEGALIZE MARIJUANA…”
        … anyone who uses capslock to antagonize a commentor because a Judge in Arkansas wasn’t mentioned on a national marijuana reform blog is no friend of marijuana reform, and is in desperate need of a sedative toke on some Indica.
        Stop whining just because your state is spelled stupid, click on the ACT tab and PARTICIPATE!

      2. The reason some state names are spelled weird is because they are not English words in the first place and the letters have different pronunciations in those languages.

      3. Ok, Dave, I’m going to try and keep this from sounding sarcastic…

        Thanks for inviting the etymology of the word “Arkansas”!

        Etymology: The name Arkansas derives from the same root as the name for the state of Kansas. … The word “Arkansas” itself is a French pronunciation (“Arcansas”) of a Quapaw (a related “Kaw” tribe) word, akakaze, meaning “land of downriver people” or the Sioux word akakaze meaning “people of the south wind”.

        Now that we settled that, I think we can agree that the issue at hand was not so much the abbreviation, pronunciation or etymology of “Arkansas” so much as that is all f-ing irrelevant to the fact that someone had the nerve to call this activist website intended for people to write and call their Congressman to reform marijuana law a “magazine.”

        Let’s click on the ACT tab before our collective neurons gets flushed down a drain called “news.”

  1. Governor Murphy is right on the money, and now there’s a timeline. California is implementing. Canada is gearing up.

    Who’d ever have thought New Jersey would be the first state to have Amsterdam-style coffeeshops where adults can both buy and consume the cannabis in different ways, and especially INCLUDING smoking. In Mokum, it’s no kids allowed, not even infants. If you got a baby, you’re waiting outside. Kids are around where alcohol is served, tobacco-free establishments, and they see that behavior. No kids allowed means if you can’t do it at home you’re kids aren’t going to see you and don’t even have to know, or your landlord won’t even know and can’t throw you out.

    Yeah, New Jersey!

    1. It’s about the patients and their medicine. Having said that…

      I lived in Brooklyn in the 80’s, and the “bodegas” selling “ses” in Manhattan were about the coolest thing I had ever seen up until that point in time.

      Now, Jersey is even cooler than NYC! Who knew??

  2. I wish other U.S. politicians had the courage to do the same. I’ll keep poking my local politicos.

  3. Today is the National School Walkout To End Gun Violence. I support this, and I oppose Trump and the GOP and the NRA.


    LA Times is reporting on this incident, which happened yesterday in Seaside High School in Monterey County California. This teacher brought a firearm to school to give a lecture on “Public Safety Awareness”. This teacher serves as a reserve police officer in Sand City California, so they fit the Trump definition of “certain highly adept people, people that understand weaponry, guns — if they really have that aptitude. “

    The teacher “inadvertently” fired the gun into the ceiling of the classroom. The bullet went through the ceiling. “A student hit by bullet fragments or ceiling debris sustained a minor neck injury.” Maybe Trump should work on “hardening” school ceilings and walls.

    1. Before Russian Troll Farm grunt-worker Leroy (or whoever is up next) accuses me of being “off topic”, let me point out the fairly obvious. 1) Nobody in their right mind, including stoners, wants America to become a fascist, Russian police state. 2) Us stoners know all about “police state” and we sure as hell don’t want more of the same. 3) Marijuana legalization, if it is to occur, must occur in a functioning Democracy, which Trump and Putin are working on to destroy. We oppose Trump fully. 4) Marijuana legalization and Fascism are mutually exclusive, and fully incompatible.

      1. Dain,

        Regarding off-topic topics, lol, I’ve sometimes felt apprehensive about posting facts, opinions, etc that had to with the things other than pot. But since I’ve been on this site, the good editors of NORML have nearly always seemed willing to let people have their say, whatever the topic. And I respect that.

        (I’m sure there is a line they draw, such as threats to posters, etc.)

        But, as you’ve noted, all things are often related, and so it is with pot and legalization. Many here have pointed out, for instance, the intrinsic racism in the prohibition policies of this country over the years. And, we’ve come to see, thanks again to many posters, the terrible influence that the pharmaceutical industry and liquor industry have had on legalization attempts.

        And I am definitely of the mind these days, as much as ever, that there is one political party in America is tearing up our country, destroying it in too many way. I speak of the GOP of course.

      2. (Cont)

        In the last several decades at least, the GOP has stood for oppression of racial, sexual and religious minorities, as well as women and, indeed, pot smokers. They’ve stood for war, for torture, and for guns guns guns guns guns–everywhere. This is who they are. These are your conservatives/libertarians of today.

        They’re cynical about everything. They hate minimum wage (tho most I’m positive benefit from it), they hate Social Security and Medicare (tho again many of them I’m positive benefit). They hate the little guy, the average worker, and unions and will side with the bosses and corporations EVERY TIME. Hell, for all their bleating about patriotism, they hate democracy, too.

        Democracy you say? Anyone who would go to the efforts they do to suppress the vote, to hack the vote, to make voting harder, to gerrymander, well, that person really does NOT want democracy.

      3. (cont)

        And they hate and fear most of the world too. (Well, at least they used to; seems they really like Russia these days. Thank you Fox News.)

        So all the bluster from them, the false bravado, the sanctimonious patriotism is simply a reflection of who they are.

        They’ve been standing in our way to pot legalization (their senators and reps, anyway), for too long, too, so we must and will continue to legalize with or without their help.

        And I know there are Dems who guilty of some of the points above–but in most cases, they are FAR fewer than the GOPers.

      4. We really should set up a meet and greet, big guy.

        Barfing liberal propaganda (non stop!) in the name of marijuana… You irrational prick.

      5. Leroy, I can’t go to Russia, and you can’t come to America. So I guess we’ll just have to settle for these love letters.

        Don’t threaten me, you nutless punk.

      6. Leroy, have you ever even clicked on the ACT tab on this website? Do you even support marijuana legalization? Do you realize this is a website dedicated to the reform of marijuana law?

      7. Leroy, YOUR the irrational prick you fascist fuck! Every single thing Evening Bud said was spot on correct and your only comeback to his valid points was name-calling. Well right back at you ya pathetic POS!

      8. David, why the fascist remark?

        I’ll thank you to shut your fucking mouth. I didn’t even read or respond to evening bud, my response was to Dain. I hit reply and posted my response. The site’s format confused you, and you became a stupid fucker hurling shit at someone for no reason. Well done, asshole.

      9. Leroy,

        That 2nd Amend comment was unfair on my part, so my apologies on that. It was my “knee-jerk” reaction to your “meet and greet” comment. Neither comments, mine or yours, were appropriate.

      10. Evening Bud, he didn’t deny making the 2nd amendment threat. What he WON’T say, is what is most telling about Leroy. His cover is blown, now. And that was my objective. It is now completely clear that he is not here to help NORML, or the cause of marijuana legalization.

      11. Dain, you really are on one, man. Far as I’m concerned, you’re the one exposed. As a crazy fucker. Seriously, I imagine you’re a pretty crazy dude offline.

      12. Congratulations, Leroy. You decoded the enigma. Swap the first letters of the two words, and the secret is revealed! Dain Bramage becomes Brain Damage. I give you full credit for figuring it out.

        Can we move on, please?

      1. @ Matthew Stove,
        I don’t think so. Just the white-cracker, slave-owning kind. And who gives a fuck what that inbred bunch thinks?

        So Matthew, hop back into your time machine, go back in time, and tell your founding “good old boys”, that if they got something new to say to me about Freedom and Trump and Fascism and guns, tell them to write it down, so I don’t have to deal with you, this dumb-ass messenger boy, who don’t know shit from shinola.

      2. …besides, hemp farmers, be they “founding” or otherwise, have nothing to fear from me. I’m looking for the medical cannabis!

      3. Dain,

        I’m not quite sure what Stover’s problem is… Somehow I suspect Koch-network, anti-hemp madne$$…
        But as for “fear” from our “founding fathers” over hemp, that’s an absurd distortion of history. Washington and Jefferson grew hemp and encouraged Americans to grow it. Hemp was a vital naval resource and was grown near every major port in America from the Revolution to WWII. If they had lived to see the Marijuana Stamp Act or the Controlled Substances Act… noting the context that they would then have outlived slavery… they would have called to abolish the now obsolete electoral college to bring back our heritage.

        I just submitted a resolution to my local Democratic Party to legalize “marijuana and hemp,” so that whether we call it weed or cannabis we make sure were not leaving any strain or variety out of legalization. We should all do the same before local conventions.

      4. I think he’s trying to say if I support hemp (which I do) then I should support NRA (which I don’t) based on his use of the word “founding.”

        Not impressed.

      5. Hmm… Reading the context of your message, Dain, about guns, wouldn’t it be great if he only put into context the kind of weapons Washington was dealing with… Washington’s men barely had ammunition. They damn sure had no idea what an AR-15 was and if anything the greatest “weapon” that won the revolution were Washington’s own slaves who resisted malaria that ravaged the army of Cornwallis in the Virginia swamps during malaria season.

        If you support the NRA, Mathew Stover, did you ever ask where the NRA was in Federal
        Court a few years back when a Federal Judge determined anyone in possession of marijuana and a firearm should go to Federal prison?

  4. This is great news, we really need a State at our borders to legalize, to get PA thinking a little more about it. So I am looking forward to NJ legalizing as it will get them thinking.

    So the sooner the better, as maybe we’ll get lucky enough that Wolf will still be Governor, as I doubt the republican running will sign anything like that.

    Maybe after finding out how much it can make, the new one running against Wolf, might think about it too. I don’t want to see the republican running though win.

    Anyhow. It is time to legalize, I wish the federal government would just de-schedule cannabis from their list, and let states even more free to do what they want with the marijuana laws. It is just time.

    Stay blazed everyone. 😉

  5. We are officially in a national election over marijuana legalization.

    Listen to Beto Orourke at a campaign rally and he while gets no applause for being pro choice, his affirmation is resoected. But he gets a round of applause in a rural Texas town for mentioning marijuana legalization:

    Drumph went to Pennsylvania in the midst of an opioid crisis and was like “Kill drug dealers.”
    Meanwhile Democrats are legalizing marijuana and spreading our message in NJ and challenging the synthetic cost of smokeless quasi prohibition mmj laws in Pennsylvania.

    Americans who never heard about the 2014 JAMA report that opioid overdose and suicides are reduced by 25 and 37 percent in states with legal medical or responsible adult marijuana markets are seeing the results from effective state laws to compare eachother to. Make no mistake, marijuana policy reform is a pathway to victory…

    1. Julian,

      I believe that we’re at a stage now where politicians who oppose legalization do so at their own peril.

    2. I think I fucked up, so here it is again, an excerpt from your link, from New York Magazine, by Eric Levitz, indicating The People now recognize cannabis as a life-saving drug instead of a boogyman:

      “The year Donald Trump was elected president, drug overdoses killed 63,600 Americans. The epidemic’s body count was almost certainly higher in 2017, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yet, despite his campaign promises to solve the opioid crisis, Trump has done virtually nothing to address the plague — but has tried to cut $1 trillion in funding from one of America’s top sources of addiction treatment, and allowed his attorney general to wage war on legal marijuana, which many in rural America now see as a much-needed alternative to opioids for those suffering from chronic pain.”

      1. Only beef I have with this paragraph is some bullshit framing with the use of the word “allowed”, as if Sessions went rouge on Trump, and Trump “allowed” it. Bullshit. Trump appointed Sessions precisely because of who Sessions is, not despite the fact. And Trump confirms that himself everytime he praises Duterte’s extrajudicial murders of drug users, to his unhinged rants about Singapore death penalty.

        There’s no daylight between Trump and his girlfriend Sessions on drug policy.

      2. In fact, when you realize it, Trump is worse than Sessions on drug policy, if that’s possible.

        That is because, while both are rabid prohibitionists, Trump is a gangster who has nothing but contempt for law and order; Sessions, on the other hand, a perjurer and a traitor himself, still has a passing familiarity with legal concepts, even went to law school, if I am not mistaken. So, even from a brain-washed, reflexive, and Pavlovian sort of way, Sessions is constrained to that extent, while Trump is not.

      3. Sessions is more of a constraint on Trump than Trump is on Sessions. That’s why he wants to fire him so badly. It’s not that Sessions isn’t wicked enough for Trump; it’s that Sessions’ loyalty to Trump is something just barely less than one hundred and ten percent. And that’s not good enough!

      4. If you read my link in a later post here you’ll see Marijuana Moment’s coverage of how Trump is plotting to put someone worse than Sessions into AG… Scott Pruit was the AG of Oklahoma who sued Colorado and delayed Oklahoma’s medical marijuana petition by illegally changing the petition’s title. Sure, Trump wants to get rid of Sessions due to the Mueller investigation… but if Trump wasn’t a bit€# for Big Pharma and marijuana prohibition why select an even bigger prohibitionist?

      5. Scott Pruitt for AG proves, once again, that Trump is a fascist, militant, drug-war monster.

        Oklahoma is also the execution capital of America. Having been recently denied the use of “legal” execution drugs, Oklahoma is now experimenting with shit from under the kitchen sink. That is NOT sarcasm or parody. It’s true, look it up. It’s a death cult.

        The unimaginable bloodlust of the Trump administration is a threat to all of us.

  6. We really need more support for legalization in NJ from internal and external groups.

    Murphy has to pass it through the state legislature and many NJ politicians are opposed- to the point they had the insane reefer madness advocate Kevin Sabet invited to speak. Right now there aren’t enough votes to pass it through the state legislature.

    It’s not nearly a done deal in NJ.

    1. Bloodlust. What a monster Trump is. Just can’t wait to kill something else, someone or something, anything, I don’t care — c’mon, hurry, hurry, gimme something else to kill, he says…

  7. forget about individual political figureheads etc, recent polling shows a majority of republicans support,, cannabis law reforms..

    overall cannabis majority is very strong today..
    this is one unavoidable reality placing ongoing pressure on political decisionmakers..

    hate speech about republicans is painting all republicans,including the pro cannabis majority
    as a pack of ratbags.. creating enemies,
    of a massive positive support base..

    donald duck is what he is..
    old conditioned politicians same..

    if a majority of any political party support rational cannabis law reforms, they are our friends in this ongoing global change..

    who but a fool shits on his friends…

    1. Trump’s got to go, for a million reasons, including marijuana policy. But the Republicans just will not do their fucking jobs, and hold the traitor accountable. That makes them traitors, too.

      That’s why ALL REPUBLICANS must drown in the blue wave. It’s that simple. They made their bed, now they die in it.

      1. Dain, the GOP is most certainly no friend of marijuana reform considering the way they lure marijuana reforming legislators like Jason Isaac to run for Congress than support a prohibitionist candidate and stab their own in the back during primaries.

        With that said he makes a good point that not all Republican voters should not be grouped with their Republican candidates. People who voted for Isaac got cheated by their own GOP. This does not mean that these same voters who saw their candidates get burned by the GOP during the primaries cannot go and vote for Beto Orourke during the general election. We’re going to need half a million Republicans to do just that and get more Dems to the polls in Texas because the biggest obstacle to ending prohibition isn’t Republican prohibitionists; it’s Democrats that don’t vote.

      2. Julian, I must hold the Republican voters responsible for the prohibitionist traitors running the government at this time. If they “got burned”, as you say, they need to change candidates, or parties. But they do neither.

        Republicans don’t get any more benefit of the doubt from me. Their congress won’t hold Traitor Trump accountable, and their voters won’t hold their politicians accountable. All of them are laughing at “liberal tears” and loving every minute of it, as we speak. Piss on ’em!

        I’m sorry, but I am done being played for a fool by any Republicans other than Robert Mueller.

        Because, you know, let’s give the guy a fighting chance to bring the traitors to justice, am I right?

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