NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Could Be Moving to Decriminalize Pot

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told municipal prosecutors throughout the state to adjourn all cases involving marijuana-related offenses until September 4.

A man rolls a joint during a demonstration demanding the approval of the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes in front of the Mexican Senate building in Mexico City on September 28, 2016. / AFP / PEDRO PARDO (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man rolls a joint. PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

New Jersey could be taking the first steps toward what could be an effort to decriminalize marijuana.

On Tuesday, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told municipal prosecutors throughout the state to adjourn all cases involving marijuana-related offenses until September 4. In a letter to prosecutors, Grewal said the delay will give his office time to develop “appropriate guidance” for prosecutors, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.

In a memo to prosecutors, Grewal said he intends “to issue a statewide directive concerning the scope and appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related offenses in municipal court,” the report said.

Grewal’s letter did not make it clear if police should continue making marijuana-related arrests. The attorney general said he would convene a working group to help develop the guidance.

The move comes as Gov. Phil Murphy’s efforts to legalize marijuana has stalled after encountering opposition from lawmakers of both parties in the state legislature. Murphy, who opposes decriminalization, said he intends to continue pushing to legalize and tax marijuana sales.

Quote of the Day: “You think it’s a step in the right direction. It actually leaves the business in the hands of the bad guys. Your kids are exposed. It’s not regulated. It’s not taxed.” — Gov. Phil Murphy, on the prospect of marijuana decriminalization instead of legalization.

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NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Could Be Moving to Decriminalize Pot