Gov.-elect Phil Murphy prepares to take office Tuesday

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy attended several events Monday as he prepares to take office as New Jersey’s 56th governor.

Murphy attended an event in Newark that celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The governor-elect says that he also spoke with President Donald Trump this weekend as the president called him to congratulate him on his victory.

“It was good. It was an unexpected call...I appreciated the call and I brought infrastructure up two or three times,” Murphy said.

Murphy positioned himself as anti-Trump and anti-Gov. Chris Christie throughout his campaign last year. He also placed major focus on the legalization of recreational marijuana for New Jersey.

The issue of legalization is shaping up to be a major battle for the governor-elect, with some Democrats opposing legalization – including state Sen. Ron Rice.

“There are also issues that plague communities like [Newark] that no one is talking about and that’s without the legalization of marijuana,” Rice says.

“At some point he has to listen. These are his constituents. These people are part of his district,” says Mervyn Jones, director of state government affairs for the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Murphy says that he is not planning on backing down. Recreational marijuana could be on Murphy’s agenda early on. But he says that he does not begrudge anyone who needs some time to wrap their head around the issue.

“We’re going to do this and we’re going to do this right and we’re going to protect our kids,” He says. “There is a big social justice impact of this.”

Murphy's swearing-in will take place at the Trenton War Memorial at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. News 12 New Jersey will carry the entire inauguration live beginning at 11 a.m.

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