During his inauguration speech on Tuesday, New Jersey’s 56th Gov. Phil Murphy urged for criminal justice reforms, which invariably include the legalization of marijuana.
“A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces criminal justice reform comprehensively, and that includes a process to legalize marijuana,” Murphy, a former Wall Street executive, said when he was inaugurated as New Jersey’s governor on Tuesday.
Murphy, who took oath on the same Bible that President John F. Kennedy was sworn in on, has already introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey on Jan. 11 as governor-elect.
The bill was part of Murphy’s election platform, and it was introduced by Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari.
He Replaced a pro-Trump Republican
The Democrat Murphy replaced Republican Gov. Chris Christie, putting an end to eight years of conservative rule.
Murphy’s arrival as governor spells the end for the Republicans’ grip on New Jersey. Murphy won against Christie’s chosen successor, Kim Guadagno, in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race in November. Now Democrats control houses of the Legislature.
Murphy is a far cry from Christie, who was the U.S. President Donald Trump’s dependent political ally. Murphy has dubbed Trump as “not my cup of tea.”
Ex-governor says cannabis is ‘blood money’
Like other hardline Trump supporters, Christie stunted any opportunity for recreational marijuana. He dismissed it as “blood money.”
However, Murphy praised Christie for his work on the opioid crisis and his role as a father. He also thanked him for over two decades of public service to the state, the Associated Press reported.
The Associated Press reported that Murphy’s wife, Tammy, and their four children joined him on stage as he was sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Murphy’s running mate, former Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, was also sworn in as lieutenant governor.
“The work of our administration will be about you, your families and your communities,” the Associated Press quoted Murphy as saying in his inaugural address.
“We will never lose sight that we are one state and one family, with different beliefs but common dreams and that we do not succeed unless we all succeed together.”
Before the ceremony, Murphy and his wife attended a prayer service at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton. An inaugural ball Tuesday night was to be held under a tent at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.