On Tuesday, State Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal circulated a letter to municipal prosecutors regarding the appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related offenses in municipal court. The letter was in response to Jersey City’s recent efforts to make it their policy to no longer prosecute marijuana charges in municipal court. The Attorney General, citing his supervisory authority, rendered Jersey City’s policy void and without legal effect. However, as a result of this back-and-forth and subsequent meeting between the two parties, the Attorney General determined that municipal prosecutors would benefit from additional guidance concerning the scope of their discretionary authority in regards to marijuana offenses.
The Attorney General has committed to convening a working group to further discuss this issue and plans on issuing guidance to municipal prosecutors via a statewide directive, before the end of August. In the interim, the Attorney General has instructed all municipal prosecutors to seek an adjournment until September 4, 2018, or later, on any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court. This instruction does not prevent local law enforcement from exercising their authority, with regards to violations of any State laws or local ordinances.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 137.