AG: Prosecutors should use discretion in marijuana cases, decriminalization still illegal

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New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a memo today that while municipal prosecutor’s should use discretion in marijuana cases, decriminalization is still illegal for now.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Grewal made the announcement in a nine-page memo issued to all county and municipal prosector’s today.

“A local governmental unit may not “decriminalize” or otherwise license conduct which violates the State’s criminal code … Any policy or practice of a municipal prosecutor’s office—or any local governmental ordinance, law, or regulation—is preempted if it conflicts with this principle,” he wrote.

He summed up the sentiments of the memo in a tweet late this morning:

Grewal’s latest state guidelines, which takes effect on September 5th, come after a short spat with Jersey City officials after they announced a new policy decriminalizing marijuana in July.

Just one day after enacting the policy, Grewal came out and said it was illegal, though it promoted a meeting between the AG’s office and Jersey City officials before putting all marijuana cases in the state on hold.

“Today’s guidance on marijuana-related prosecutions is only one step toward improving the administration of justice in our municipal courts,” Grewal added in a statement.

“I look forward to addressing in the near future other, more fundamental issues affecting public confidence in our criminal justice system.”

A Jersey City spokeswoman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.