At savings program announcement, Murphy addresses marijuana legislation, too: ‘I’m all in’

Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s not going to wait around on marijuana reform.

This was in response to a question regarding the life and death of 7-year-old Jake Tonig and the correlation with marijuana legalization in New Jersey.

“If you don’t know the story of Jake Honig, look it up, it’s an extraordinary one,” Murphy said. “He could’ve had a better quality of life, and maybe even an extended one, if medical marijuana had been more available in a smarter sense.”

He was speaking at the signing of the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Act at the senior center in Saddle Brook.

“So, the answer is that we’re not going to wait around a lot,” Murphy said.

A productive working group meeting between the governor’s team and the leadership teams in both the state Senate and the Assembly took place yesterday, Murphy said.

“I’m prepared to hold off for a short amount of time, and I would say the month of May would be the edge of that,” Murphy said. “The health commissioner, Dr. (Shereef) Elnahal, and I are holding back enormous demand for more access to the medical regime. And we have to get on with that.”

Murphy’s still confident that his administration can get it done legislatively.

“I’m hoping within a reasonable, short amount of time, we can reconstitute this legislatively; I’m all in,” Murphy said. “I’m prepared, certainly open-minded and quite supportive for the Legislature to go back at it and find those last couple of votes we didn’t quite get. But that can’t be an unending calendar.”

He said people owe too much to those affected — in some cases, it’s life or death, and, in most, it’s in regard to their quality of life. In either case, Murphy said, there cannot be an unending waiting period.

“The legislation allows us to do more than what I can do through executive action. Dosage (for example) is something I can’t do through executive action. There are a number of things in that medical bill that we need as a legislative matter and I can’t do all of that through executive action.”

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