A Changing State of Mind Over Marijuana
Over the past several years, global perception regarding marijuana has shifted wildly. It was only a few decades ago that governments and mass media both pushed the notion that marijuana was an extremely dangerous drug that caused psychosis. Now, it’s largely considered a fairly harmless substance that should be decriminalized. Several states, like New Jersey, have begun to change their laws in response to public opinion.
What’s Happening in New Jersey?
New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy, has strongly pushed for marijuana legalization in his state. Now, a bill is currently making its way through legislative bodies that could not only legalize the drug but also clear up past convictions regarding the substance. Governor Murphy has strongly supported the expungement process, and he has noted the positive impact it has on people’s lives.
The vote on this controversial bill took place on April 15th.
What Are the Specifics About Expungement of Marijuana Crimes?
Should this bill pass, people who have been convicted of marijuana crimes could have their past crimes expunged. Here’s how it works:
- Those with marijuana convictions could apply for expedited expungement
- Eligible individuals must have been possessing less than five pounds of marijuana
How many residents of New Jersey could be eligible for this new process? According to lawmakers, it could be tens of thousands of people. Statistics indicate that over one million individuals have been charged with marijuana crimes in New Jersey since 1990.
How Would New Jersey Handle These Expungements?
While this bill is set to be voted upon on April 15th, there are still several concerns about the proposal. Lawmakers expect thousands of individuals will be interested in seeking an expungement of their marijuana claims. As it stands, the New Jersey Judiciary would have difficulty processing these requests. It would almost inevitably overwhelm the system. Due to these factors, the proposal also includes a provision specific to the Judiciary. They’d be required to hire additional staff members. These new employees would be dedicated to processing the marijuana-related expungements that are expected to increase. This portion of the bill is very important because legalization efforts are likely to fall flat without it.
Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Marijuana Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with simple possession of marijuana in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal law attorney as soon as possible about your case. Criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with marijuana possession in Camden, Cherry Hill, Washington Township, Monroe, Mount Laurel, Medford, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-242-7300 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.