TRENTON – The New Jersey Legislature will not decide if recreational marijuana should be legalized, instead the measure will be put to a statewide public referendum in 2020.

Senate President Steve Sweeney made the announcement Wednesday, saying “Adult use marijuana will be legalized in New Jersey but it won’t happen now.”

The Senate president, however, said this change will not impact expansion of the medical marijuana program and plans to move forward with legislation to expunge criminal records of individuals convicted for possessing pot.

“We want to move forward to help transform the state’s medical marijuana program and to achieve the progressive reforms for social justice,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Though a campaign promise of Governor Murphy, he and Sweeney have not been able to get enough support from the Democratic-controlled Legislature to pass a recreational use bill.

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.