Skip to main content

A super-majority of New Jersey lawmakers on Monday passed a proposed ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana, putting the referendum before voters on the 2020 ballot.

The Democrat-led Assembly passed the measure 49-24, with one abstention, while the Senate passed the question 24-16.

The proposal need not go before Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, though he supports marijuana legalization.

Story continues below advertisement

The question asks voters if they’ll approve recreational cannabis for people 21 and older. All sales of marijuana products would be subject to the state’s 6.625 per cent sales tax, and towns could pass ordinances to charge local taxes as well.

“The time to end the prohibition of adult-use cannabis is now," Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said.

If approved by voters, New Jersey would become the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize recreational marijuana.

The ballot question was the second choice of Murphy and legislative leaders, who failed in March to advance legislation that would have legalized cannabis.

The larger-than-three-fifths majorities in both chambers matters because it ensures the question will be put to voters by 2020. Had only a simple majority of both houses passed the question, then lawmakers would have had to hold a second vote in the new session, which starts Jan. 14.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies