N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy speaking at his inauguration. Photo by Carmen Natale. N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy speaking at his inauguration. Photo by Carmen Natale.

After Monday’s canceled vote on legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey and ease expungement of criminal records for certain offenses, many leaders vowed that another attempt would follow. Among them was Gov. Phil Murphy.

“History is rarely made on the first attempt,” Murphy said at a 4 p.m. news conference held a few hours after a vote on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Modernization Act was cancelled because of a shortage of votes for passage.

“But eventually barriers do fall to those who are committed to breaking them down,” Murphy added. “Certainly, I’m disappointed. But we are not defeated.”

Murphy said he wanted full legislation, not a ballot initiative, to get marijuana legalized, and expressed confidence that lawmakers would try again.

When that will be is the mystery.

Meanwhile, just an hour before Murphy’s news conference, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), apparently missing football season, spoke about goals, goal lines, and of course teamwork.

“This is not a goal we can’t achieve,” he told reporters just after 3 p.m. at the State House. “Changing the status quo is never an easy thing. We’ll get back together and figure out what it is we need to do. We will make a difference. We’re going to change things.

“We didn’t get a touchdown, but we moved the ball to the one-yard line,” he said.