NJ lawmakers planning question for 2020 ballot to legalize marijuana

Posted: Updated:

It seems that voters will decide on whether pot should be legal in New Jersey.

New Jersey legislative leaders say they will vote in the coming weeks on a proposed ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana. Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari unveiled the proposed ballot question on Monday.

They plan for the question to be on the ballot in 2020.

Lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy tried earlier this year to legalize cannabis through legislation, but Sweeney said the bill failed to get enough support among senators.

RELATED: ACLU: NJ marijuana arrests jump about 35% over 4 years 

Murphy said in a statement he’s disappointed the legislation failed.

"I am disappointed that we are not able to get this done legislatively and that our failed status quo – which sends roughly 600 people to jail a week for possession, the majority of them, people of color — will continue."

The governor said that he is hopeful that voters “will put us on the right side of history” by approving the amendment.

Democratic Speaker Craig Coughlin said through a spokesman the Assembly will also vote on the proposal.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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