Within 24 hours, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal declared that the city’s new policy was void, as Hudnut had no authority to supersede the state’s drug policies.
For a moment, it seemed like Grewal was out to block the Garden State’s path to cannabis reform, but it turned out that he had bigger plans for decriminalization. This week, the Attorney General announced that all cannabis cases being considered in municipal courts would be adjourned until September.
Grewal told prosecutors that his office would be developing “Appropriate guidance” for them during that time frame. The possible success of this bill, coupled with Grewal’s new policy, could mean that no New Jersey resident will ever be prosecuted for a low-level cannabis offense again. The state currently has the third-highest total number of marijuana arrests in the country, following only Texas and New York, and had the country’s largest increase in pot arrests between 2015 and 2016.
Just days after criticizing Grewal’s letter blocking his decriminalization attempt, Hudnut released a statement announcing that he was on board with the Attorney General’s new plan.