NJ AG Seeks Temporary Halt To Municipal Marijuana Prosecutions

Last week, a showdown between Jersey City Mayor / prosecutors and the State Attorney General over municipal authority to stop marijuana related prosecutions has taken a new turn.

In a letter to all County and Municipal prosecutors, the State Attorney General stated:

I plan to convene a working group of criminal justice stakeholders – including the Hudson County Prosecutor and the Chief Municipal Prosecutor of the City of Jersey City – to study the issue and advise me on possible solutions. By the end of August, I intend to issue a statewide directive concerning the scope and appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related offenses in municipal court.

In the interim, I ask that all municipal prosecutors in New Jersey seek an adjournment until September 4, 2018, or later, of any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court.

In the accompanying press release, “the Attorney General made clear that Jersey City’s decriminalization memorandum was an improper exercise of a municipal prosecutor’s authority and reiterated that it was void.”  However, “[a]t the conclusion of yesterday’s meeting, the Attorney General stated that he wanted to work with criminal justice stakeholders – including County Prosecutor Suarez and the Jersey City Chief Municipal Prosecutor – to clarify the scope and appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related offenses in municipal court.”

The working group will meet and make policy recommendations.

The full letter appears here: