Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut held a press conference last Thursday to announce that they were decriminalizing minor marijuana possession and use, effective immediately. The next day, NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stepped in and announced that the new policy was void, as Hudnut did not have the legal authority to supercede state drug laws. The prosecutor wrote that these crimes – minor possession, possession while in a motor vehicle, being under the influence, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and loitering to buy or sell pot – should now be punished by either a fine of up to $50 or five hours of community service. Any of these crimes could land an offender in jail for as long as six months.
“We feel that while New Jersey is having the conversation about legalization, it is unfair to continue to burden people with misdemeanors, or what New Jersey calls disorderly persons offense, convictions and the collateral consequences that come with those convictions,” Hudnut said at the press conference,