JERSEY CITY — Mayor Steve Fulop sees a victory for Jersey Metropolis in Legal professional Basic Gurbir Grewal’s choice Wednesday to inform municipal prosecutors statewide they’ll use their discretion on marijuana prosecutions “to make sure that particular person justice is finished in particular person circumstances.”
Grewal’s choice, defined in a nine-page memo, was the end result of a monthlong effort to specify what municipal prosecutors can and might’t do when confronted with pot circumstances on this state which may be on the cusp of legalizing marijuana. It is not precisely the consequence Fulop had been anticipating final month, when he issued an announcement saying Grewal supposed to subject a directive that may “obtain the identical goals of decriminalization.” However, reached by cellphone, Fulop stated “we landed the place we stated we needed to land.”
“Our place all alongside was that we all know we won’t change regulation, it must come from Trenton, we have been totally conscious of that, however we have been additionally conscious that we now have discretion and we have been going to make use of that discretion,” he stated.
Grewal’s memo was sparked by the announcement in July by Fulop and Jersey Metropolis’s new municipal prosecutor, Jake Hudnut, that the town would cease prosecuting sure low-level marijuana offenses. The information was cheered by proponents of marijuana legalization, however Grewal stepped in nearly instantly to say the town had no energy to do this. The lawyer basic convened a committee to review the difficulty and make suggestions. The memo launched Wednesday represents “the broad consensus” of the committee, Grewal stated in a convention name with reporters.
The memo features a sequence of tips for municipal prosecutors, with the primary one aimed squarely at Jersey Metropolis: “A municipal prosecutor could not undertake a categorical coverage or observe of refusing to hunt convictions for statutory offenses associated to marijuana.” However, the memo says, prosecutors can use their discretion on a case-by-case foundation, contemplating a defendant’s age, prior prison report, immigration penalties, adversarial academic penalties and extra.
“Municipalities can’t decriminalize conduct that the Legislature has criminalized,” Grewal stated. “They will and will try to make sure that particular person justice is finished in particular person circumstances.”
That is what provides Jersey Metropolis officers confidence that they’ll proceed largely as they needed to when Fulop and Hudnut introduced their marijuana coverage in July.
“When the mayor and I set down this highway to deal with the issues of racially disparate and expensive marijuana possession prosecution, we did not think about that our efforts would have a optimistic statewide impression,” Hudnut stated. “So we’re very proud for Jersey Metropolis.”
When Grewal introduced in July that he would convene a committee to review marijuana prosecutions, he put a maintain on municipal pot circumstances till Sept. 4. He stated Wednesday these circumstances will resume on schedule.