In New Jersey, Legal Marijuana Is So Close You Can Smell It. But It Could Be Awhile.

Mr. Murphy, however, said decriminalization was not going far enough.

“Decriminalization for me doesn’t get it done,” Mr. Murphy said, “because it leaves the business in the hands of the bad guys, it leaves our kids exposed, and it leaves the industry unregulated and untaxed. So while social justice and protecting our kids might be of paramount importance, if there’s a way for the state at the end of the day to make some revenues out of this, we should accept that.”

Amid the debate, a furious lobbying effort has swirled in Trenton for more than a year.

“I can’t walk down the hallway of anywhere without people asking about marijuana,” Mr. Scutari said.

Dozens of lobbyists from different interests, from the New Jersey Liquor Store Alliance to the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, have lobbied legislators in recent months, according to the New

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