For New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to fulfill his campaign promise to legalize recreational marijuana in the Garden State, he will need allies in Congress. But rounding up that support is proving to be a formidable task.
Even some members of his state’s own congressional delegation don’t agree with his push to regulate marijuana in the same way as alcohol.
What’s more, the Democrat’s plan could set up a confrontation with the Republican administration and the federal statutes that outlaw any use of marijuana. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sought congressional permission to shut down medicinal and recreational marijuana businesses — even in states that have legalized those industries.
Murphy, who said he is unfazed by the prospect of such a showdown, said Congress so far has managed to keep federal intervention at bay.
“It has not impacted us, and we believe it will not,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re not paying attention.”
Murphy has already moved to overhaul the state’s medical marijuana program.
“We will deliberately and steadily get to the recreational side,”