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1 US NJ: N.J. To Resume Minor Marijuana Prosecutions, But AG Asks ForWed, 29 Aug 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Wood, Sam Area:New Jersey Lines:73 Added:08/29/2018

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 consequences.

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2 US NJ: Oped: Pressing Pause On Pot ConvictionsSun, 29 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fulop, Steven M. Area:New Jersey Lines:111 Added:07/29/2018

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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3 US NJ: Editorial: Like Jersey City, Murphy's AG Takes The High GroundWed, 25 Jul 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ)          Area:New Jersey Lines:81 Added:07/25/2018

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.

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4 US NJ: Report: New Jersey Puts Temporary Hold On Marijuana CasesTue, 24 Jul 2018
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Shipkowski, Bruce Area:New Jersey Lines:60 Added:07/24/2018

New Jersey's attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

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.

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5 US NJ: Marijuana Bills Increasingly Focus On Social JusticeThu, 19 Jul 2018
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) Author:Quinton, Sophie Area:New Jersey Lines:213 Added:07/19/2018

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 equity.

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 on drugs.

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6 US NJ: New Jersey, Feeling Marijuana's Pull, Frets Over LegalizationTue, 17 Jul 2018
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Corsiniti, Nick Area:New Jersey Lines:168 Added:07/17/2018

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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7 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

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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8 US NJ: Doctors -- Not Politicians -- Should Decide Who Gets MedicalThu, 22 Mar 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ) Author:Livio, Susan K. Area:New Jersey Lines:87 Added:03/22/2018

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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9 US NJ: New Jersey Lawmakers Weigh Legalizing MarijuanaMon, 05 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:97 Added:03/10/2018

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.

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10 US NJ: Judge: Insurance Company Must Pay For Medical Marijuana ForTue, 06 Feb 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:111 Added:02/07/2018

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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