Trenton, NJ – Today, New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General issued guidance to municipal prosecutors regarding prosecution of marijuana-related cases. This guidance comes after Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal convened a working group on marijuana prosecutions earlier this summer.
Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s important announcement.
“While we applaud the Attorney General’s willingness to address this important issue, the guidance in effect restates current law and rules for prosecutorial discretion in cases involving possession of marijuana. This is not surprising as the Attorney General does not make the law, he enforces it.”
“This well-intended guidance just highlights the need for the Legislature to change the law. Thus, Drug Policy Alliance, along with civil rights and racial justice organizations and faith leaders across New Jersey, remains committed to passing legislation to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Despite today’s announcement, racial disparities in marijuana arrests will no doubt persist. Currently, African Americans are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites despite similar rates of use, and evidence suggests similar disparities for Latinos. Without fair and equitable legalization, a marijuana-related offense will continue to serve as a gateway to the criminal justice system for thousands of New Jersey residents.”
For more background on the New Solutions Marijuana Reform Campaign’s fight for fair and equitable marijuana legalization in New Jersey, visit www.legalizenj.org.