On Friday, January 22, 2021, Gurbir Grewal, the Attorney General sent out a new memorandum with further instruction on the prosecution of marijuana cases in New Jersey since the state lawmakers are still ironing out the details of how marijuana will be legalized and decriminalized. Back on November 25, 2020, the Attorney General instructed all county prosecutors and municipal prosecutors to suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases to January 21, 2021 including the following low level marijuana charges:
- possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(3);
- possession of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4);
- being under the influence of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b);
- failure to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35- 10(c);
- use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 involving only marijuana or hashish;
- possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1 involving only marijuana or hashish; and
- any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense subject to conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1 involving only marijuana or hashish.
The new memorandum instructs prosecutors to again postpone these cases until at least March 31, 2021. Also according to the AG’s memo, “In cases where there are other pending charges in addition to the marijuana possession- related offenses enumerated above, prosecutors shall continue to use their discretion to either postpone the case in its entirety or seek dismissal, without prejudice, of the above-enumerated marijuana possession-related charge(s) and proceed with prosecution of the remaining charges.”
This guidance does not include suspending the prosecution of distribution of marijuana or possession with the intent to distribute marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.
If you have just been charged with possession of marijuana or another marijuana-related crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Alissa D. Hascup has represented thousands of clients charged with possession of marijuana in the state of New Jersey. She will ensure that your rights are protected in court and that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Contact her office for a free consultation. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.