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The mad scramble to legalize marijuana in New Jersey is so tight, even Whoopi Goldberg got into the act Friday.
The Oscar-winning actress and comedian called a handful of state lawmakers as Gov. Phil Murphy and his fellow Democratic leaders fight for peace and quiet for the state Legislature to pass a bill that would be legalize recreational pot here.
As of Friday afternoon, the leaders were only a few ̵
But convincing the final few lawmakers to secure the 21 votes required to pass the bill
Goldberg, a West Orange resident, who has ties to the marijuana industry, is a member of the Executive Committee. NJ Advance Media.
So you wrote in the Op-ed about the matter that published Friday in USA Today and other Gannett news outlets.
Goldberg founded a company in 2016 that manufactures edibles and skin care products made from cannabis called Whoopi & Maya. But her involvement with cannabis goes back to her teenage years when she discovers her debilitating menstrual cramps.
"As I have grown older, and questionably wiser, I have maintained a healthy relationship with marijuana, "Goldberg wrote." I now use marijuana, through a vape pen, to relieve headaches from glaucoma. "
" For countless adults across New Jersey, myself included, marijuana has never been about getting high just for the sake of it, "she continued. "And, that's something that lawmakers on Monday need to remember.
Goldberg did not immediately return a message from NJ Advance Media seeking comment Friday.
State Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle , D-Bergen, confirmed that Goldberg called her Friday morning and made a case for support during her 45-minute conversation.
But Huttle remains in the "no" column.
"She feels this is a great piece of legislation, and we can be a leader for the rest of the country, "Huttle said.
Respected organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not support marijuana legalization, Huttle noted. 19659009] "I'm not concerned about adult cannabis," she said. "It's opening to the door to kids under 21, giving that credibility and releasing the stigma." That's my main concern. "
Huttle said the only way she could be persuaded to vote Yes, there is no doubt about it. "
Goldberg is not the only notable name to
US Sen. Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat, is tweeted on support Friday.
Meanwhile, New Jersey's two black members of the US House of Representatives ntatives, Donald Payne Jr., D-10th Dist., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., both endorsed the measure this week.
The Rev. Al Sharpton So took to Twitter this week to lobby for the bill :
And the Democratic mayors of New Jersey's two largest cities – Newark's Ras Baraka and Jersey City's Steve Fulop – endorsed the proposal Friday.
Supporters say it will help improve social justice in the state because black people are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana offenses than whites.
The bill would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for people 21 and older in New Jersey.
As of Friday afternoon, a vote tracker conducted by NJ Advance
Still, these are some of those lawmakers currently doing
The vote tracker currently shows 14 members undecided.
"We've made progress, but we" "not over the goal line" Murphy said Friday at an unrelated news conference in Livingston.
If leaders can not muster enough votes by Monday,
Murphy and top Democrats are expected to continue lawmakers throughout the weekend ,
"We're not there yet, but we're still fighting," one source said.
NJ Advance Media staff writers Matt Arco, Payton Guion Jonathan D. Salant and Justin Zaremba contributed to this report.
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