Officials with the state Association of Chiefs of Police met with New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Wednesday to try to resolve questions and issues they have with enforcing new marijuana laws now that adult-use recreational marijuana is legal.
New Jersey has consistently led all states in the number of marijuana arrests per capita. In some towns like Mendham and Pompton Plains, marijuana arrests have made up more than half of all arrests in some years. The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey will impact many police departments around the state and removes a large part of what they do.
Supporters of legalization say that this is the point and that maybe now police and tax dollars can go toward something more productive and less discriminatory.
“What I hear from law enforcement folks around the country – not just New Jersey – is they’d rather be spending their time prosecuting major crimes, prosecuting violent criminals, building stronger ties with the community they’re policing, and cannabis prohibition does the opposite,” says DeVaughn Ward Sr., legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project.