Grewal unveils advisory group for marijuana prosecutions
(TIM LARSEN/OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL))
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has unveiled the 20 members to serve on a working group that will help develop a statewide policy on how prosecutors should handle low-level marijuana offenses.
The move comes following his office’s issuing a letter recently to all 21 county prosecutors that effectively decriminalized low-level, municipal marijuana offenses until Sept. 4, by which point the group is expected to issue its findings.
By the end of the summer, the group is expected to issue Grewal a series of recommendations on the appropriate level of prosecutorial discretion for marijuana cases in municipal courts.
“I look forward to hearing from this working group about how we can improve the equal, impartial, and uniform administration of justice in our municipal courts,” Grewal said in his Friday evening announcement.
The 20-member group will include law enforcement, civil right organizations, prosecutors and local officials.
The full membership of the group includes:
- Veronica Allende, director of the division of criminal justice, who will chair the group
- Matthew Berns, counsel to the Attorney General
- Richard T. Burke, Warren County prosecutor
- Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association
- Deputy Attorney General Claudia DeMitro
- Annette DePalma, president of the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors’ Association
- Stephan Finkel, director of legislative affairs for the Department of Law and Public Safety
- Charles Fiore, Gloucester County Prosecutor
- Mayor W. Reed Gusciora of Trenton
- Jake Hudnut, Jersey City’s chief municipal prosecutor
- Van Lane, deputy public defender for Monmouth County
- Deputy Attorney General Robyn Mitchell
- New Jersey Police Training Commissioner Jiles H. Ship
- Ahmad Rasool, municipal prosecutor for Newark
- ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha
- Richard T. Smith, president of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP
- Steven A. Somogyi, assistant director of the New Jersey Judiciary
- Sherry Stembridge, Assistant Essex County prosecutor
- Esther Suarez, Hudson County prosecutor
- John Zebrowski, chief of police, Sayreville