The bill now goes to Governor Phil Murphy's desk, who must sign the measure. “I don't think anything will have anything to do with my legislative career in New Jersey”, he said after the vote. The state and House of Representatives voted 49-24 in favor of the bill, with the Senate following suit on Thursday by 23-17. It's been a long road, said Representative John Wisniewski of Middlesex County, the bill's sponsor.
After repeatedly failing to garner enough support to put the issue before voters, he decided to end his legislative efforts to legalize marijuana. It was the popular vote on November, 2-1, to change the state's constitution and legalize weed that ultimately prompted the aspiring lawmaker to say yes.
Rep. Annette Quijano (D-Union), who supported the bill's version in the National Assembly, said it was a strong commitment to social justice. The bill includes measures to make cannabis businesses diverse and fair, but tensions rose in the Senate when Senator Ron Rice criticized her and Scutari for what he saw as inadequate provisions for social justice.