Jersey City, New Jersey is decriminalizing the use and possession of marijuana with a new policy for prosecutors that begins today. Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement that the change will serve to redress injustices of the War on Drugs.
“The fact is, marijuana arrests and prosecutions in New Jersey, and around the nation, point to severe inequalities that negatively impact people of color disproportionately, and lead to long-term economic challenges for anyone who finds themselves prosecuted for possession,” Fulop said.
“We are working to correct this with our new policy in a proactive way, and I am proud that we will be the first in the state to do so,” he added.
New Policy Begins Today
Under the plan adopted by the city, municipal prosecutors will be encouraged to seek a non-criminal disposition for several low-level cannabis offenses. The policy was spearheaded by Fulop and new chief municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut, who took over the position on July 2.
Hudnut, a former criminal defense attorney, ran an unsuccessful bid for a city council seat last year. During that campaign, he made the racial injustice of drug enforcement policy an issue in the race. The prosecutor repeated that theme on