NEW JERSEY -- Steve Adubato sat down with New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney on State of Affairs to discuss the path forward to marijuana legalization and a new push to ban vaping across the state. 

“It’s an epidemic right now,” Sweeney said, about the vaping crisis. “People are getting sick. It’s worse than cigarettes because cigarettes have a chronic effect, it takes a long time,” he explained, but with vaping, “this is an acute effect where you vape one night and the next day you’re in the hospital.” 

Vaping bans are supported by New Jersey Governor Murphy, New York’s Governor Cuomo, and at one point, President Trump also expressed his support for regulations, but he recently backpedaled on banning vaping. 

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In New Jersey, getting marijuana legalization passed has faced difficulties in the state legislature, but the Governor, the Speaker of the NJ House, Craig Coughlin, and Sweeney himself all support it. However, some members are still holding out against legalization, making a bill difficult to pass. 

Sweeney said the current plan is to try to get recreational marijuana legalized during the legislature’s lame duck session, which is current and will last until just before new members take over in January. Barring that, “we’ll prepare a ballot initiative that we know will be successful,” he said.