Macro shot of a dired marijuana bud with crystalline structures

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Jersey City Decriminalizes Marijuana Use

July 19, 2018 - 8:46 am
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Jersey City is about to become the pot capital of the Garden State.

A new policy expected to go into effect on Thursday will downgrade marijuana charges to a non-criminal offense. Prosecutors will be encouraged to send people busted for pot to community court, or drop the charges altogether.

Chief Jersey City prosecutor Jake Hudnut cited statistics showing that people of color are three times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for marijuana as one of the main reasons for the new policy.

“We’re still, at the end of the day, going to try to avoid a misdemeanor conviction and really stand up for a population of the city that hasn’t seen municipal prosecutors work on their behalf,” Hudnut said. “And that’s what we’re going to do now.”

The policy shift comes as the state works to legalize pot for recreational use, something Gov. Phil Murphy would like to have done by early 2019.