New Jersey to tell prosecutors they can drop some marijuana charges: report

New Jersey to tell prosecutors they can drop some marijuana charges: report
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The New Jersey attorney general will soon issue guidance to local and state prosecutors, giving them the ability to use discretion when deciding whether to prosecute some marijuana possession cases, according to NJ.com.

The decision from state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) comes in lieu of extending a statewide adjournment of marijuana possession cases that is set to lapse on Sept. 4. Marijuana possession is illegal in New Jersey.

The new directive is expected to affect primarily rural areas, where, NJ.com reports, prosecutors often opt for more stringent charges in marijuana possession cases.

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The decision comes almost a month after Grewal sent a letter asking municipal prosecutors to adjourn cases until Sept. 4 or later, according to the outlet. Grewal also convened a working group in July after Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D) and chief municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut tried to decriminalize marijuana earlier that month.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has said he wants the state legislature to craft a bill legalizing adult's recreational use of the drug. The state budget proposal he introduced in March included $60 million in revenue from taxing legal marijuana, though the legislation has largely stalled in the state's legislature. 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Dems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters MORE (D-N.J.) is leading the fight for marijuana legalization on Capitol Hill. He introduced a bill last year that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and provide incentives to states to completely legalize the drug.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced similar legislation in June.