AP NEWS

Murphy: Referendum on weed is an option, but bill preferred

May 9, 2019
In this April 24, 2019, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy gives a keynote speech at a Betting On Sports America conference in Secaucus, N.J. Murphy says holding a referendum on legalizing recreational marijuana is an option, but he's still pushing for legislation that has so far stalled. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says holding a referendum on legalizing recreational marijuana is an option, but he’s still pushing for legislation that has so far stalled.

Murphy and fellow Democrat Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin were asked about marijuana at an unrelated event on Thursday in Trenton. Murphy said holding a referendum “has always been out there” as an option, but he and lawmakers preferred a legislative route.

A measure to legalize recreational weed for those 21 and over while also allowing marijuana-related convictions to be wiped clean failed to get enough support in March.

The vote was postponed, and Murphy and lawmakers say they’re working behind the scenes to move the measure forward.

New Jersey would join the District of Columbia and 10 other states if the measure succeeds.