TRENTON -- New Jersey lawmakers have unveiled their latest proposal to
legalize recreational marijuana use for people 21 and over. A joint
Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee is expected to discuss the
One bill provides for legalizing an ounce of marijuana for adults 21
and older, setting up a five-person cannabis commission, and taxing
the sale of the substance at 12 percent.
That rate includes the 6.625 percent sales tax. The draft also permits
local governments to apply up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis. An
earlier measure called for gradually increasing tax rates.
The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with
marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.
Gov. Murphy supports marijuana legalization. His office did not
comment on the new legislation Wednesday.
Prosecutors in New Jersey cannot unilaterally decriminalize marijuana
possession in their jurisdictions, the state attorney general
announced Wednesday, but they are being encouraged to use their
discretion with people charged with low-level cannabis crimes.
State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a guidance memo to the
Garden State's prosecutors, asking them to carefully consider the
repercussions of a marijuana conviction on the lives of people charged
with simple possession.
He asked prosecutors to weigh the "collateral consequences" a
conviction might have on a defendant's ability to find work, remain in
school, and receive government loans, housing, and licensing. Grewal
also requested prosecutors to take into account age, circumstances of
arrest, immigration consequences, and adverse familial
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JERSEY CITY - Every city in America knows that it's a bad idea to
prosecute low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. It wastes scarce
municipal resources and does nothing to enhance public safety. What's
more, even though whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates,
blacks are more harshly punished for it.
That's why, on July 19, marijuana offenses were effectively
decriminalized in Jersey City, New Jersey's second most populous city.
Prosecutors treated every marijuana case that day as a violation
instead of a misdemeanor, unless driving under the influence was
involved. We told our prosecutors to ask for no more than a $50 fine,
or just five hours of community service if the defendant couldn't pay
that fee. Instances like the absence of any public nuisance or a low
likelihood of re-offense would warrant outright dismissal. We also
stressed the importance of diverting people with an obvious drug
addiction toward social services.
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Jersey City's mayor is planting himself at the forefront of a national
movement to stop destroying people's lives for having a little marijuana.
Steven Fulop is firmly on the right side of this issue, and Gov. Phil
Murphy's attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, is not fighting him on it --
once again demonstrating that he is not just concerned with law and
order, but justice.
Grewal has been receptive to reform efforts in general, creating a
statewide team to investigate wrongful convictions, for instance,
after a bungled murder case in Passaic County.
[continues 485 words]
New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment
of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least
The decision was included in a letter state Attorney General Gurbir
Grewal sent Tuesday to municipal prosecutors in the state. It asked
them to seek an adjournment until September 4 -- or later -- of any
matter "involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal
court," a move that will allow the attorney general's office time to
develop "appropriate guidance" for prosecutors.
[continues 303 words]
Chris Alexander, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance,
advocates for marijuana legislation at the state Capitol in Albany,
New York. Supporters say the bill would promote social justice and
State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year
aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and
regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing
a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority
communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war
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SECAUCUS, N.J. - Tucked inside a nondescript commercial warehouse here
sits a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation. A custom filtration
system feeds a proprietary cocktail of nutrients into a hydroponic,
two-level farming system. Two pallets of crops are harvested every
day, and the 15,000 square feet will eventually yield two tons of
marijuana per year.
And it's all legal.
Opened just a few weeks ago, Harmony Dispensary is the latest site in
New Jersey to provide marijuana for medical use, a program that has
expanded greatly since Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, was sworn
in. More than 10,000 patients have enrolled since he took office in
January, bringing the total to about 25,000. And on Monday, Mr.
Murphy's office announced it was seeking up to six new applicants for
medicinal marijuana dispensaries.
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Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program
Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and
allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add
satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.
The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis
prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to
prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who
registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers
- -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate
in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.
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Doctors would decide which patients should use marijuana as medicine
instead of being limited by a narrow list of eligible diseases set by
law, under a sweeping medical marijuana overhaul approved by a state
Assembly panel Thursday.
The measure that cleared the Assembly Health Committee would also
allow registered patients to buy up to four ounces of cannabis, or
twice as much as they are permitted to obtain now.
The dispensaries and cultivators would be divided evenly in the
northern, central and southern regions of the state, including the six
who are already licensed to grow and sell.
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TRENTON -- The first New Jersey legislative hearing on the
legalization of marijuana held since Gov. Murphy took office -- after
he promised his support -- unfolded Monday before more than 100 people.
More than a dozen experts traveled from as far as Colorado and
Massachusetts to office advice on legalization, a topic gaining
traction after Murphy, a Democrat, replaced Gov. Chris Christie, a
Republican adamantly opposed to it, in January.
Several lawmakers are working on legalization bills, but none has come
up for a vote and some legislators say they are trying to get a consensus.
[continues 580 words]
In what could be a precedent-setting decision, a New Jersey
administrative law judge has ordered an insurance company to pay for
medical marijuana for an injured worker who suffers from lingering
neuropathic pain in his left hand after an accident while using a
power saw at an 84 Lumber outlet in 2008.
Judge Ingrid L. French took testimony from the worker, a 39-year-old
Egg Harbor Township man, and a Cherry Hill psychiatrist/neurologist
who said the marijuana treatment was appropriate because it would
allow the patient to reduce his prescription opiate use and lower the
risk of serious side effects.
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The grass is looking greener for New Jersey marijuana users.
The idea of legal pot was once a pipe dream for those who so indulged.
Not anymore. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has pledged to sign legislation
legalizing pot within 100 days of his Jan. 16 inauguration, prompting
speculation on what that hazy world would look like.
Among the particulars that have been largely agreed upon: New
Jerseyans would be permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for
personal use, and previous convictions for such possession would be
eligible for expungement.
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Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton want to 'put
breaks' on legalization of marijuana by governor-elect.
Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton are pushing back
against the promise by Governor-elect Phil Murphy to sign a bill
legalizing marijuana in the first 100 days of his administration.
Murphy and the Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly have
said they want marijuana legalized in early 2018, which could generate
up to $300 million in annual taxes to the state.
[continues 697 words]
The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.
Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the
aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating
no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally
in the governor's office.
Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of
staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The
governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the
growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.
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In this divided nation, we should be able to at least find common
cause in the fight to stop and treat opioid addiction, a scourge that
knows no single identity, and that does not respect geographic
boundaries or common socio-economic factors. This is a fight we must
all take up, arm in arm, because in one way or another it affects all
Indeed, the more we know about this menace to our national health, the
worse it seems. According to a new analysis released by the Trump
White House, the opioid addiction crisis may already be much worse
than previously thought. According to the White House Council of
Economic Advisers, the true cost of the crisis, as of 2015, stands at
$504 billion, a figure more than six times the most recent estimate.
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PATERSON -- About a dozen men and women sat on hard plastic chairs
early Wednesday morning inside a conference room at the Well of Hope
Drop-In Center on Broadway, where a flat screen television broadcast
sports highlights on ESPN.
Some came for the free coffee. A sign said the limit was one cup per
hour. Others were there to use the showers and toilet facilities. A
57-year-old man who would only give his name as "Julius" was waiting
to see a nurse about a blister on his foot.
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Energy drinks could be a gateway to cocaine use, according to a new
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health
found that young adults who said they'd consumed energy drinks yearly
between ages 21 and 24 were at greater risk for subsequently doing
cocaine, using prescription stimulants for non-medical uses and
The 1,099 study participants were recruited as 18-year-old college
Those who didn't consume energy drinks as they got older were less
likely to develop substance-abuse problems.
[continues 338 words]
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Cabinet members and senior
staff at his golf club in Bedminster to discuss the opioid crisis.
Missing at the meeting was Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the
president's commission charged with studying the national rise of
heroin and opioid addiction. Christie is on vacation. While the
governor missed the meeting, the president is missing the message
Christie has been sending for several years: treatment over
incarceration will save lives.
Long before his approval rating tanked at 15 percent, Christie used
his then sizable political capital to focus on treatment and
rehabilitation. He did it when he pushed for drug courts. He did it
when he eloquently spoke of a law student friend who died because of
addiction. And during his presidential bid, Christie resonated most
effectively with voters when talking about drug addiction.
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When it comes to the state's medical marijuana law, progress has come
in increments rather than great strides. New Jersey's Compassionate
Use Medical Marijuana Act, state law since 2010, has been implemented
ever so slowly under Gov. Chris Christie, who has never hidden his
disdain for the law.
Yet those disappointed by the snail's pace of the law, and the
establishment of new medical marijuana centers, have new reason to
As Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reported, North Jersey will soon be
welcoming the state's largest dispensary of medical marijuana yet --
at a 10,000-square-foot facility on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus.
Once it opens, the dispensary plans to serve up to 4,000 patients a
month with a variety of strains of cannabis. The Christie
administration has issued a permit to grow medical marijuana to
Harmony Foundation and will consider issuing a permit to dispense
marijuana after the crop is tested later this year.
[continues 357 words]
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Tuesday to make marijuana
legal at the federal level, marking the first time the New Jersey
Democrat has come out in favor of full legalization and further
stoking tensions with a Trump administration that has sought to roll
back the clock on federal drug policy.
The Marijuana Justice Act, as Booker is calling his bill, would also
allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be
resentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and
possession crimes. States whose marijuana laws disproportionately
affect minorities or poor people would lose federal funding for law
enforcement and prison construction, among other funds.
[continues 699 words]
The call to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been loud and clear,
lately. Legalization rallies have occurred in groups in Trenton, and
front-runners from both parties of the gubernational primary elections
have been vocal in their support of legalization. What is there to
know about the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey?
The state's medical marijuana program added 5,000 participants last
year, and total enrollment now exceeds 10,000, according to the
state's Health Department. There are five state-licensed dispensaries,
also known as alternative treatment centers, and Secaucus just got
approval to open its own dispensary.
[continues 179 words]
Regarding "Marijuana should be legalized" (Your Views, June 6):
The points the writer raises regarding legalizing cannabis are
ignorant and obviously not factual. They are clearly just his
uneducated opinion. Just how will legalization reduce street drug
markets? Issues of increased tax revenue, economic boost to retail and
job creation, and not contributing to homelessness and violence are
Do you want to be driving your car at 70 miles an hour on the Turnpike
with your kid in the back, next to someone who is high because he just
finished smoking a recreational joint?
[continues 152 words]
Regarding "Opioid crisis continues to grow" (Editorial, July
Most of the efforts on overdosing of opioids in Governor Christie's
programs have to do with treating the addict. We need more to be done
to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place. And at the
same time, we should not shame people who want to use soft drugs.
When we have a legal drug, alcohol, which causes far more harm than
cannabis does, there is something wrong. We need to acknowledge that
some people have a need to benefit from cannabis, and we gain nothing
by censuring them. The "stigma" hasn't really worked very well. People
have found benefit from this plant. We would be better off accepting
this rather than putting them through arrests and worse.
Rahway, July 25
The national opioid crisis is spreading. Despite increased awareness
of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the numbers of
fatalities and overdoses continue to rise. That is too true in Bergen
As Staff Writer Steve Janoski reports, despite the efforts of Bergen
County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the county appears on track to
surpass last year's totals of 320 overdoses; 259 of which were opioid
related. Ninety-eight people died. That's an 11 percent increase in
overdoses from 2015 and a 12.6 percent increase in fatalities.
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man charged with trying to
drive through the Holland Tunnel with a cache of weapons on his way to
rescue a teenager from a drug den will ask New Jersey's governor for a
pardon after a judge denied his request to enter a pretrial
Attorney James Lisa told a judge Thursday that he will seek a pardon
after the judge denied allowing John Cramsey, of East Greenville, to
enter the program after he earlier rejected a plea.
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Medical patients in severe pain seek comfort in a variety of ways.
Some remedies, they find, work better than others. Some medications,
they find, are less addictive than others. These are factors that must
be weighed as New Jersey considers the pros and cons of whether to
expand its list of "debilitating medical conditions" for those who
wish to participate in the state's medical marijuana program.
More than 12,500 residents have been registered under the program
since it was legalized in 2010, yet many more patients and caregivers
want to participate and say the state's existing rules are too
restrictive. We agree.
[continues 379 words]
Looking beyond Gov. Chris Christie and seeing a more socially liberal
future, Democratic lawmakers opened their campaign to legalize
marijuana in New Jersey with a lengthy legislative hearing Monday.
Although no vote was planned on the bill that was introduced last
month, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing formally set in motion a
campaign to make New Jersey among the first states in the Northeast to
legalize marijuana. Voters in eight other states and Washington, D.C.,
have approved marijuana legalization, but New Jersey would be the
first to do so through legislation.
[continues 615 words]
Anyone looking to buttress the argument for decriminalizing marijuana
in New Jersey should take a close look at a new American Civil
Liberties Union report regarding the War on Pot. To sum up: It's a
needless fight being waged badly.
Pot arrests have been rising steadily under Gov. Chris Christie, which
shouldn't be a surprise. Christie continues to regard marijuana as a
gateway drug to harder substances, and dragged his feet on
implementing New Jersey's medicinal marijuana law. Christie's
compassion and enlightenment regarding drug addiction and how best to
combat it seems to stop at opioids.
[continues 406 words]
The legalization of small amounts of marijuana for people 21 and over
came before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday as the committee
considers abill introduced by Sen. Nicolas Scutari, D-Union.
According to Scutari's office, no vote was taken. (To listen to the
hearing, click here.)
In the bill, Scutari mentions the cost to New Jersey for enforcement.
Marijuana possession arrests made up three out of every five drug
arrests in New Jersey in 2012. The state shells out about $127 million
per year on marijuana possession enforcement efforts.
[continues 809 words]
West Milford police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering from a
heroin overdose on Jan. 21.
[photo] A West Milford police car sits idle behind town hall on Dec. 31,
2016.(Photo: Joe Sarno/NorthJersey.com)
WEST MILFORD -- Local police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering
from an apparent heroin overdose on Saturday afternoon.
West Milford police officers administered the opioid-blocking medication
naloxone to the resident after finding her unresponsive at approximately
2:12 p.m. on Jan. 21, according a Jan. 24 press release from the Passaic
County Prosecutor's Office.
[continues 66 words]
McKesson Corporation agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations from
federal authorities that the company failed to monitor and report
suspicious sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The Washington Post reported on the settlement in December, gleaned from a
publicly disclosed Form 8-K filed by McKesson on April 30, 2015.
Tuesday was the first mention of the settlement by federal law enforcement
The settlement stemmed from an earlier case.
In 2008, McKesson agreed to pay $13.25 million after the government
alleged it failed to create and maintain a system to detect and report
suspicious orders of increasing amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills
to independent and small chain pharmacies.
[continues 297 words]
[Name redacted] of Denville, was charged by Wayne police with possession
of heroin.(Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Police)
[Name redacted], 26, of Denville was arrested and charged with possession
of 39 bags of heroin, among other charges, on Jan. 4.
According to police records, Officer Tomasz Cydzik observed a 2000 Honda
Civic parked in the CVS parking lot on Hamburg Turnpike with her head down
"as if unconscious" around 9:40 p.m. When the officer approached, [name
redacted] opened her eyes and police observed an uncapped syringe inside
the vehicle, according to police reports. After further investigation,
five Suboxone under-the-tongue films, one Clonazepam pill, a
sandwich-sized plastic bag containing suspected marijuana, two additional
hypodermic needles, multiple open glassine bags of suspected heroin, 39
additional bags of heroin stamped "suicide squad" and one small zip lock
bag containing suspected cocaine, police records show.
[continues 59 words]
Anti-drug advocates hailed Gov. Chris Christie's pledge Tuesday to make
New Jersey's addiction crisis a top job in the final year of his term in
office, but there were worries about funding and follow through.
Using soaring rhetoric, heartfelt personal stories of loss and
unmistakable zeal, the governor used his State of the State address to
outline a series of new initiatives to battle the opioid epidemic that has
devastated New Jersey.
Paul Ressler, who lost his son Corey to a heroin overdose and now runs an
organization that informs the public about the use of the opioid overdose
antidote naloxone, praised the goal of getting more teenagers into
treatment. Christie promised to change state regulations that exclude 18
and 19 year olds from treatment facilities for children.
[continues 1053 words]
[photo] Gov. Chris Christie led a roundtable discussion at Integrity House
in Newark, following the signing of an executive order declaring opoid
addiction a public health crisis. At right, Integrity House President
Robert Budsock. At left is Vanessa, an Integrity House program
graduate.(Photo: Dale Mincey / NorthJersey)
NEWARK -- In front of a small group of recovering addicts, Gov. Chris
Christie signed an executive order on Tuesday declaring the opioid
addiction problem in New Jersey a public health crisis.
The event, which was held at Integrity House -- an substance abuse
recovery home on South Street in Newark -- took place less than an hour
after Lt. Gov. Kim Guagdano announced her candidacy to succeed him as
[continues 587 words]
[photo] Governor Christie's attorney asked for the dismissal of a probable
cause finding on an official misconduct complaint over the George
Washington Bridge lane closures.(Photo: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey)
Chris Christie plunged himself into the center of a crisis on Tuesday.
It's a place where he's comfortable and often compelling.
It's also a place where he thrives.
"Our friends are dying. Our neighbors are dying. Our co-workers are dying.
Our children are dying. Every day. In numbers we can no longer ignore,''
Christie said in his seventh State of the State speech, which was part
sermon, part call to arms for the Legislature to confront the state's drug
addiction crisis that "is ripping the very fabric of this state."
[continues 940 words]
[photo] Governor Chris Christie delivers his State of the State address on
Tuesday.(Photo: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey)
As he composed a lengthy State of the State speech dedicated to battling
New Jersey's heroin and opiate crisis, Governor Christie said he was
intent on including one component that will not only challenge lawmakers
in Trenton, but drastically alter the health care industry around the
He insisted on a new law mandating that no resident with health insurance
could be denied coverage for the first six months of inpatient or
outpatient treatment, an unprecedented length of time, experts say. He
told his administration two months ago to figure out how such a major
change could be done.
[continues 869 words]
The opioid epidemic may have cost as many lives as have been recently lost
in Syria. Yet understanding it is difficult.
I saw an Associated Press article that showed that pharmaceutical
companies are focusing on lobbying state legislatures. There is a strong
relationship between Medicare prescriptions and state income. The poorer
the state, the more opioid prescriptions, presumably showing that
legislators are particularly vulnerable to Big Pharma if their
constituents don't have much money. There is a correlation also with a
state's Republican leadership suggesting that less regulation leads to
more Medicare opioid prescriptions.
[continues 88 words]
The program launched by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office provides
rehabilitation to those without insurance.
Heroin and fentanyl deaths are rising in Ocean County.(Photo: Getty
Anyone suffering from addiction can now drop into two police departments
in Ocean County and get treatment, whether they have insurance or not,
officials announced Monday morning.
The program also allows addicts to turn in their drugs without fear of
being prosecuted, Al Della Fave, the spokesman for the Ocean County
Prosecutor's Office said. The office is spearheading the program known as
the Heroin Addiction Response Program.
[continues 542 words]
[photo] A medical marijuana dispensary is proposed for 1154 N. Main St. in
Algonquin officials are considering a medical marijuana company's proposal
to open a dispensary in a medical office complex.
ILDISP III LLC, represented by Ross Morreale, is seeking a special-use
permit for a free-standing building at 1154 N. Main St., out of which the
company would sell marijuana to patients with a prescription.
An attached garage would also be added onto the building, which formerly
housed an MRI center, as a secure area for deliveries and waste removal,
according to the proposal.
[continues 234 words]
Six months ago, AJ Solomon visited Gov. Chris Christie at the State House
to apologize for using heroin while a member of the governor's advance
[photo] Governor Chris Christie told the story of AJ Solomon, a recovering
heroin addict, to illustrate his focus on combating drug addiction in New
Jersey. Here, the Governor hugs Solomon as he exits after the
address.(Photo: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com)
Six months ago, AJ Solomon visited Gov. Chris Christie at the State House
to apologize for what he felt was the ultimate betrayal -- using heroin
while a member of the governor's advance team in 2012 and 2013.
[continues 629 words]
Christie this week reaffirmed his public commitment to making N.J. a
national leader in fighting drug addiction.
Governor Christie speaks about drug addiction at a Walgreens in East
Brunswick on Dec. 22, 2016.(Photo: Nicholas Pugliese/STATE HOUSE BUREAU)
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday visited a Walgreens in East Brunswick to
highlight initiatives the company is undertaking to promote the safe
disposal of unused prescriptions drugs and expand access to a medicine
that can reverse an opioid overdose.
His final public appearance before Christmas came on the heels of a
related event Wednesday evening where Christie and former Gov. Jim
McGreevey led a candlelight vigil on the State House steps in memory of
people who have died from or are struggling with addiction.
[continues 642 words]
New Jersey will receive a $1.3 million grant to target the heroin trade
and illegal prescription drug activity as law enforcement and legislators
team up to lower rates of addiction and overdoses, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.
[photo] A grant from the U.S. Justice Department would target the heroin
trade and misuse of prescription drugs.(Photo: RECORD FILE PHOTO)
New Jersey will receive a $1.3 million grant to target the heroin trade
and illegal prescription drug activity as law enforcement and legislators
team up to lower rates of addiction and overdoses, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.
[continues 248 words]
[photo] Governor Chris Christie holds a baby boy facing perinatal
addiction while the boy's grandmother looks on while he was touring the
Jersey Shore Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in
Neptune, N.J. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The baby boy is 49 days old and
suffers from withdrawal symptoms transferred from his mother who had
addiction issues. (Photo: Tim Larsen/Governor's office)
With changes to health care among the top priorities for President-elect
Donald Trump when he takes office next month, New Jersey is likely to gain
greater flexibility in Medicaid and possibly help drug users get access to
treatment, Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday.
[continues 421 words]
One is a former nurse. Another used to be in law enforcement. There were a
recruiter and a graphic designer.
Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal and Bergen County Sheriff Michael
Saudino at the press conference on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.
They were among 40 people arrested this week in an investigation led by
the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office to combat the area's "staggering"
This time, after arresting the alleged users for drug possession,
detectives offered them help -- the chance to enter a five-day detox
program run by Bergen County Regional Medical Center. Twelve people
[continues 1881 words]
Sitting in a jail cell and preparing to spend as many as five years in
state prison for two heroin possession charges, Matt Lopreiato found
himself at a grim crossroads.
"I destroyed my family inside and out. I felt like my life was over. No
family, no friends," the 27-year-old Toms River man said. "I felt like I
was alone and would be better off dead to be completely honest with you."
The heroin addict went cold turkey and spent 43 days in Ocean County Jail.
Then an offer arrived: go through addiction treatment, succeed and go
[continues 899 words]