Certainly a smart and fair move!
Excerpts from the Article:
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday announced he’s told law enforcement to end arrests for minor weed crimes and to drop pending cases immediately. That word was sent to law enforcement officials Monday night after Gov. Phil Murphy signed three marijuana reform laws. One of those decriminalizes possession of up to six ounces of marijuana.
Grewal’s order falls in line with the decriminalization law.
It calls for prosecutors to drop all pending cases for possession of marijuana and hashish, selling less than one ounce, having paraphernalia, possessing marijuana in a vehicle, being under the influence its influence or failing to dispose of it.
Police can no longer arrest people for those violations, either, Grewal noted.
Murphy also signed a bill to launch a legal marijuana industry Monday, but it will take months to set up dispensaries that can sell marijuana to the public. For now, there’s no legal way to purchase marijuana. But the decriminalization law removes penalties for possessing marijuana bought on the illegal market.
The third law decriminalizes marijuana and alcohol for those under 21. Instead of arresting or fining those caught with weed and booze, police must issue written warnings. The first goes only to the underage person, the second to a parent if they are under 18 and the third as a referral to community programs on drug education or treatment.
Police issued more than 6,000 charges for minor marijuana possession between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, even though New Jerseyans voted 2:1 to legalize marijuana on Nov. 3. As the legislative process languished, enforcement of marijuana prohibition continued regularly.
Grewal’s guidance also stated that previous convictions for the named marijuana offenses will be vacated.
Driving under the influence of marijuana and dealing it remain illegal, but police can no longer search someone’s car or person upon smelling marijuana. Instead, they must look for signs of impairment.
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