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 decision until later this year. Both the state Senate and Assembly had scheduled votes on the bill, which would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and create a framework to regulate and tax commercial sales.
“While we are all disappointed that we did not secure enough votes to ensure legislative approval of the adult use cannabis bill today, we made substantial progress on a plan that would make significant changes in social policy,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney.
Sweeney vowed that “the fight is not over.”
“We need to learn from this experience and continue to move forward,” Sweeney said.” While this legislation is not advancing today, I remain committed to its passage.”
Lobbying Efforts Not Enough
Democratic leaders spent the weekend pushing to shore up votes from undecided voters, and sources said that the 41 votes necessary to pass the measure in the Assembly had likely been secured. But as of Sunday night, only 18 senators had signed on to the measure, three votes shy of the 21 required