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Lez Lavinsky

New Jersey Gov. to Expand Medical Program if Cannabis Not Legalized By May

Legislative leaders had packaged the medical cannabis and recreational bills together hoping to garner more ‘yes’ votes for legalization, but may need to take separate action to benefit medical patients if the adult-use bill continues to flounder.

Full story after the jump.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is “prepared to hold off a short amount of time” for lawmakers to approve a recreational cannabis law before he expands the state’s medical cannabis program, NJ Spotlight reports.

The Democratic governor indicated “the month of May would be the edge” of that timeline. Murphy included cannabis legalization in his election campaign platform.

“I’m still confident we can go on and get it done legislatively. I’m open-minded and supportive for the legislature to go back at it and find those last few votes we couldn’t get. But it can’t be an unending calendar. We owe too much to the folks; in some cases, it’s a question of life or death.” – Murphy, in the report

Legislative leaders had packaged the medical cannabis and recreational bills together hoping to garner more ‘yes’ votes for legalization. The legalization bill passed two state legislative committees two weeks ago and lawmakers were expected to vote on the measure the following week; however, the bill was tabled by Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who said he didn’t have the 21 votes to pass it.

Sweeney said the “optimum goal” for lawmakers is to get both the expansion and legalization bill passed legislatively and that he has no plans to split the two bills.

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