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Murphy says legalizing cannabis is ‘incredibly smart’ to offset budget woes triggered by coronavirus

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Gov. Phil Murphy said legalized marijuana sales could boost New Jersey’s struggling economy, which needs new revenue sources to weather damage from the the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking on the Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show Tuesday, Murphy called legalization “an incredibly smart thing to do.”

“We’re not inventing marijuana,” he said. “It exists.”

The topic came up as the governor spoke about the ongoing financial crisis brought on by closures to stem the spread of the virus in March. The state, too, has had to spend additional funds in attempts to control the outbreak, and could borrow as much as $9.9 billion over the next year, if state lawmakers approve a massive proposal later this week.

“We still need federal cash assistance direct into the state,” Murphy, a Democrat, said. “That’s something that I hope that Congress will get to, sooner than later, that the president will sign. That’s another big slug that we need. We’ll look at revenues that we can potentially raise on our own.”

One host chimed in, suggesting money from a tax on cannabis purchases.

“Listen, as you probably know, I’ve been on that from day one,” Murphy said. [Read more at NJ.com]

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