A member of New Jersey’s Assembly is calling for the immediate suspension of all minor or “petty” cannabis charges. Jamel Holley (D) also argued that in addition to suspending the arrests, all low-level cannabis charges should be dismissed to free up resources in municipal courts.
Holley is calling on law enforcement to heed the will of voters and stop making cannabis arrests, asking for swift legislation to address the issue. Holley identified a case of two college students who were recently arrested for smoking cannabis on a New Jersey beach as an example of the overreach of prohibition.
“It is more obvious than ever that New Jerseyans want our lawmakers to focus on serious crimes that affect the safety and welfare of the people. As we will quickly see at the ballot box, there is no patience anymore for prosecuting people caught smoking and possessing marijuana. It will be a legal, regulated recreational drug, similar to a glass of wine. There is no longer a need for our courts to deal with such petty offenses.” — Assemblyman Jamel Holley, in a press release
Holley is also asking for swift legislation to jump-start the cannabis industry and to ensure the new law benefits “mom and pop” businesses throughout New Jersey. Industry leaders expect New Jersey’s cannabis industry to have a $6 billion per year economic impact, according to the press release.
New Jersey voted to legalize adult-use cannabis during Tuesday’s election, joined by South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona with similar votes. South Dakota and Mississippi also voted to legalize medical cannabis.