New Jersey Pauses Prosecutions

by | Jul 26, 2018
New Jersey Pauses Prosecutions New Jersey Pauses Prosecutions In All Marijuana Cases Until September

While New Jersey lawmakers didn’t grant Governor Phil Murphy’s wish of legalizing marijuana during his first 100 days in office – they appear to be telling cannabis supporters ‘see you in September.’

“We are very close to introducing legislation in the Assembly and the Senate, probably within a week, we’re going to have hearings and we’d like to pass it by the end of August. That would be my goal,” New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Wednesday regarding a bill to legalize adult recreational use.

Tuesday’s announcement by State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to have municipal prosecutors delay pot cases until September is widely viewed as a step toward legalization.

While just about all discussion has been about adult usage, drug abuse prevention advocates say state leaders need to be realistic about how teens look at the marijuana debate.

That includes how the prosecution moratorium is perceived.

“Well it shows them maybe there is nothing wrong with using marijuana and as kids hear more and more about it they become desensitized to it,” says Joseph Conlin, a coalition coordinator with Prevention Plus.

He says marijuana in the hands of more adults will absolutely mean marijuana in the hands of more minors.

“There will be higher youth use, even so much as youth vaping using the liquid THC, we’re seeing issues with that now and it’s not yet legal,” warns Conlin.

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is praising Grewal’s prosecution freeze.

The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, which opposes legalizing marijuana, says the decision has no effect on police practices and they hope to be included in future discussion about enforcing existing marijuana laws.

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