New Jersey gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy, right, and Lt. Gov. nominee Sheila Oliver wave to supporters as balloons drop during their election night victory party at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Asbury Park, N.J. (Julio Cortez, Associated Press)

New Jersey marijuana legalization push gets big boost with Murphy’s win

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney hopes to pass a recreational legalization measure as soon as the new governor gets settled

TRENTON, N.J. — Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey say Phil Murphy’s win Tuesday night will pave the way for pot legislation.

NJ.com reports Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed term-limited Gov. Chris Christie. Murphy is a strong supporter of legalizing and taxing marijuana. The governor-elect has highlighted an estimated $300 million in tax revenue from legal pot that he says could help fund education programs and public worker pensions.

Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, the sponsor of a recreational cannabis bill, says Murphy is fully committed to legalizing marijuana. Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney hopes to pass the measure as soon as the new governor gets situated.

Scutari says he will continue to meet with industry leaders as he revises the bill.

Information from: NJ Advance Media