New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal just sent a letter instructing prosecutors to freeze all marijuana court cases until September 4. The September deadline isn’t an arbitrary date; it coincides with the New Jersey State Senate’s plan to consider a bill legalizing marijuana for adults.
Even though the hold will only impact cases pending in municipal court, it’s a game changer for the tens of thousands of people in New Jersey who face minor marijuana possession charges every year.
Under former Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey saw record numbers of marijuana-related arrests and charges. According to NJ Cannabis Insider, roughly 36,000 people received marijuana charges in 2016. And 32,000 of those were minor cannabis possession charges.
Furthermore, FBI crime data from 2016 shows New Jersey had the second-highest cannabis arrest rate in the United States. The state also saw the largest increase in marijuana arrests from 2015 to 2016.
When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took the reins from Christie in January, he vowed to make marijuana reform a top priority on his agenda.
The temporary stall on all those marijuana cases will give the attorney general time to prepare a new set of directives for county and state prosecutors.
See the original article at High Times