New Jersey Attorney General Orders Marijuana Cases To Be Dropped Following Legalization Bill Signing

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The day after New Jersey’s governor signed bills to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, the state’s attorney general directed prosecutors to drop cases for cannabis-related offenses and issued separate guidance for police on how to proceed under the updated laws. Prosecutors should stop pursuing cases for certain marijuana conduct that took place prior to the signing of the legislation on February 22, the new notice states. Law enforcement agencies were separately informed about what marijuana activity has been made legal and the revised penalties for youth possession and cannabis distribution. Today, we launched a new resource page for NJ police officers and prosecutors regarding marijuana decriminalization and cannabis legalization. We’ll continue to update the page as NJ implements the laws signed yesterday by @GovMurphy. For more, visit https://t.co/7fpnwxnUyi. — AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) February 23, 2021 While New Jersey voters approved a legalization referendum during the November election—and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) encouraged prosecutorial discretion for marijuana cases in earlier memos—police have continued to enforce criminalization in the absence of regulations. Now that Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed enabling legislation—in addition to a separate decriminalization bill and a compromise measure on youth penalties—Grewal is using his authority to prevent ongoing arrests and prosecutions of people for activity that’s been made lawful. The first directive “instructs state, county, and municipal prosecutors to dismiss charges pending as of February 22, 2021 for any marijuana offense that is no longer illegal under state law.” The second “provides guidance to law enforcement officers regarding new enforcement requirements pursuant to the marijuana decriminalization law.” Legal cannabis sales won’t launch for several months, so the attorney general said that interim guidance is necessary so that people don’t continue to be caught up in the criminal justice system over marijuana possession or consumption. The notice to…

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Source : New Jersey Attorney General Orders Marijuana Cases To Be Dropped Following Legalization Bill Signing

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