Millennial Interest in Phil Murphy

Amelia Devorak, Torch Newspaper Staff

Since New Jersey’s tumultuous relationship with Chris Christie, the state has been walking on eggshells when it comes to the selection of who gets to run a state. The governor is a high-profile member of their political party and often has ample sway over its politics. So if you’re familiar with the actions of outspoken Chris Christie, having been plagued by scandals and public-relations missteps during his two terms, and you’re against them, there would be a full understanding as to why something as simple as his job causes the people of New Jersey to be so hesitant when selecting another individual to lead state. However, the past is the past and there should now be focus on the 56th Governor of New Jersey: Phil Murphy. The 60-year-old Democrat is so popular with the millennials for an abundance of reasons, but there will be specific focus here on two topics: Murphy raising the minimum wage, and most popular amongst the media, the legalization of marijuana in the state of New Jersey.

As early as his inaugural speech, Governor Phil Murphy stated that he wanted to act quickly on legislation that would help the working poor. Early on, Murphy had reaffirmed a commitment as far as signing laws that raised the minimum wage to $15, enabling a more liberal future of New Jersey. Not only would minimum wage be raised, but employers would be required to provide sick pay. With ideas as such, it was easy for modern millennial America to have an immediate interest in Murphy. People have gone on to admire him and his well doings for the state, being on record saying, “I voted for you because you said you would fight for working families like me”. However, it is important to realize that not only millennials would benefit from this change, but all others who struggle to make ends meet, and Phil Murphy is just their guy.

With a mission to fully legalize marijuana, Phil Murphy took a minimal step in the legalization, signing an executive order that would ease regulations on the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Although New Jersey did legalize medical marijuana back in 2010, Christie kept strict limits on the drug. A new executive order directs the New Jersey Department of Health to review a number of conditions for which the drug can be prescribed, consider the possibility of marijuana edibles, and allow more dispensaries to open in state. Since the enactment of the law, however, Murphy has yet to be pleased. To date, only five new dispensaries have been opened, only allowing 15,000 people to have access to medical marijuana. On another note, Murphy finds marijuana to be a social justice issue, instead of a so-called “gateway drug”. According to the New York Times article, “Murphy Starts to Expand Access to Medical Marijuana in New Jersey,” legalization would “help reduce low-level drug prosecutions, which often ensnare black and Latino defendants in disproportionate numbers, and that it would decrease the state’s prison population”. Once again, millennials aren’t the only ones interested in the legalization, but find that it relates to them most. Marijuana is used as a stress or pain reliever by many, and Murphy, among many others, believe more legalization of the modern drug would increase health (for our future of millennials) and allow sufficient funds to be entering New Jersey’s government.