New Jersey Quietly Takes First Steps to Decriminalize Cannabis

New Jersey Quietly Takes First Steps to Decriminalize Cannabis

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal asked municipal prosecutors to adjourn all marijuana offenses until Sept. 4.

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TRENTON - New Jersey has quietly taken the first steps toward decriminalizing marijuana, at least for the rest of the summer. 

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday asked municipal prosecutors across the state to adjourn all marijuana offenses until Sept. 4. The respite is to allow his office time to develop "appropriate guidance" for handling such cases, with the help of a working group that includes prosecutors and others. 

"By the end of August, I intend to issue a statewide directive concerning the scope and appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related offenses in municipal court," Grewal wrote in a memo to municipal prosecutors in all 21 counties.

The attorney general's action does not constitute complete marijuana decriminalization: Police can still arrest users for marijuana possession, even if their court case is in limbo. 

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