NJ Attorney General Temporarily Suspends Prosecution of Cannabis Related Offenses

Image of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal

New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir S. Grewal, issued a memorandum to New Jersey prosecutors which ordered them to seek adjournments of “any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court.”  The term “adjournment” in legal parlance simply means postponing a court hearing until a future date.  The adjournments being sought are until September 4, 2018.

Attorney General Grewal’s adjournment date seemingly coincides with the general time frame of when Sen. Scutari anticipates that the New Jersey legislature will again consider the issue of legalized adult use cannabis.  Attorney General Grewal has not commented on whether there is an actual connection between the temporary halt in the prosecution of cannabis offenses pending in municipal court and any efforts to legalize cannabis, instead stating that his office is developing “appropriate guidance” for prosecutors.

Even if the Attorney General’s temporary ban on cannabis prosecutions in municipal court is entirely unrelated to legalization efforts, it signals a shift toward cannabis friendly laws and enforcement.  This blog will continue to follow the prosecution (or lack thereof) of cannabis offenses in New Jersey to the extent criminal laws and enforcement is related to the potential legalization of recreational cannabis in New Jersey.