New Jersey lawmakers canceled a planned vote on the legalization of marijuana on Monday, saying the lack of a clear majority to pass the measure will delay the selection till later this year. Each the state Senate and Assembly had scheduled votes on the bill, which would legalize the possession of up to one particular ounce of cannabis and generate a framework to regulate and tax industrial sales.

“While we are all disappointed that we did not safe sufficient votes to assure legislative approval of the adult use cannabis bill right now, we created substantial progress on a strategy that would make substantial adjustments in social policy,” mentioned Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

Sweeney vowed that “the fight is not more than.”

“We require to study from this encounter and continue to move forward,” Sweeney mentioned.” Even though this legislation is not advancing right now, I stay committed to its passage.”

Lobbying Efforts Not Sufficient

Democratic leaders spent the weekend pushing to shore up votes from undecided voters, and sources mentioned that the 41 votes important to pass the measure in the Assembly had most likely been secured. But as of Sunday evening, only 18 senators had signed on to the measure, 3 votes shy of the 21 essential for approval.

“We’re pushing challenging,” mentioned one particular supply about legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned for workplace promising cannabis reform. Murphy acknowledged earlier this month that the legalization bill is controversial but advocated a realistic method to the challenge.

“I do not believe any of us believe it is a no-brainer, and I do not blame people for not automatically having there,” said Murphy. “But we’re not inventing marijuana. It exists. It is in our communities. Our little ones are exposed to it. The social injustices of the previous exist. So if we can undo these social injustices, get the company out of the hands of the poor guys, safeguard our little ones, regulate and tax it — and by the way generate some income and create a lot of jobs — that feels like the suitable mixture. And if we do not do it, there’s no excellent option to me.”

Senate President Stephen Sweeney mentioned final week that if sufficient votes had been not assured prior to Monday’s vote, it would be postponed till later this year.

“It’s got to get accomplished on March 25 or it is not having accomplished till fall,” Sweeney mentioned. “Trying to move a marijuana bill in the course of a spending budget break is not healthier.”

Whoopi Goldberg Operates for Passage of Legalization Bill

New Jersey legislative leaders weren’t the only ones lobbying for votes to pass the cannabis legalization measure. Comedian and cannabis entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg, who is a resident of West Orange, New Jersey, created telephone calls to legislators more than the weekend to ask for their votes. Goldberg also wrote an op-ed on the topic that was published on Friday.

“As I have grown older, and questionably wiser, I have maintained a healthier connection with marijuana,” Goldberg wrote. “I now use marijuana, by way of a vape pen, to relieve headaches from glaucoma.”

“For numerous adults across New Jersey, myself incorporated, marijuana has by no means been about having higher just for the sake of it,” she continued. “And, that is one thing that lawmakers on Monday require to don’t forget. The unhinged and dire doomsday prophecies of some merely have not come to fruition elsewhere, nor will they in New Jersey.”