NJ Politics Digest: State AG Begins Preparing for Marijuana Legalization

New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Office of the Attorney General / Tim Larsen

The state legislature couldn’t muster the votes to approve legalizing recreational marijuana use in the Garden State, but that isn’t stopping the state’s top law enforcement official from preparing for the eventuality.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said that right now only about 500 officers are trained as “drug recognition experts,” according to a report by NJBiz. Grewal said he wants all of the state’s 1,400 road patrol troopers trained to recognize high motorists, according to the report.

It will cost the cash-strapped state about $260 per officer for the training, NJBiz said. Towns who want their police officers trained would also have to juggle schedules to allow for that to happen. Grewal said the state is also going to stop training dogs to recognize the scent of marijuana.

While Gov. Phil Murphy has made legalizing and taxing the recreational use of marijuana a top priority, he has not yet been able to convince enough members of his own party in the legislature to support the plan. A legalization effort recently stalled, and Murphy has said that if lawmakers can’t muster the votes to allow recreational marijuana by May, he will move ahead with efforts to expand the medical use of marijuana.

Quote of the Day: “For the future of the organization, if it has one, a lot of these issues need to be cleared up,” — Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, on the Schools Development Authority under Lizette Delgado-Polanco, a prominent Democratic politician who allegedly fired longtime career staff and replaced them with political patronage appointments and people with whom she had close personal relationships.

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NJ Politics Digest: State AG Begins Preparing for Marijuana Legalization