2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


E611 News
1.  NJ  legalizes weed
2. Attorney General Directive Governing Dismissals of Certain Pending Marijuana Charges 
3.   How Springsteen beat the DWI and reckless
4.   Login for Free March Wills seminars online Zoom 2021
5 Annual Review of the Major Municipal Court Cases and new laws affecting Law Enforcement 2020-2021  

1.  NJ  legalizes weed
  Gov. Murphy on February 22 signed into law three bills that decriminalize and legalize marijuana for "adult use," a term that generally refers to any use of the drug without a medical marijuana card. 
source  https://www.app.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/marijuana/2021/02/22/nj-weed-legal-gov-phil-murphy-law-marijuana-sales-2021/4544939001/
Can I smoke weed now? 
          Under bill A1987, the use or possession of up to 6 ounces of marijuana is decriminalized and comes without any penalties. There are also restrictions on how police officers can stop and search anyone who may be using or consuming marijuana. 
          Yet there remains a gray area.
           You still cannot legally purchase marijuana in New Jersey without a medical marijuana card, and it'll likely be at least months before any recreational marijuana sales begin.
When will I be able to purchase legal recreational weed? 
         Dispensaries that sell exclusively to recreational customers won't be legal until after the state's Cannabis Regulatory Commission is formally established, meets and sets specific guidelines for the cannabis industry — such as hours and security requirements for such sellers.
        Only then will the CRC begin accepting applications for recreational dispensaries and other cannabis businesses. 
So you're unlikely to be able to walk into a recreational marijuana dispensary in New Jersey for at least a year. 
However, much depends on the future of medical marijuana in New Jersey. 
Right now, there are over 100,000 patients in the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program, but just 13 dispensaries from 10 operators to serve them.
         There's a hope that the supply will soon grow after a recent appellate decision lifting a court order preventing the Department of Health from issuing licenses to new medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries. 
[Some people will take the train to Boston where it is legal and bring back to NJ. Just don’t get caught in NY, CT or RI on the train, and don’t have more than 6 ounces.]
Can I grow marijuana at home? 
             No. The bills Murphy signed do not include any provisions allowing people to grow marijuana at home. 
                New Jersey is the only state with legal weed that doesn't allow at least its medical marijuana patients to grow, and joins Washington as the only states without some recreational home grow.
        Over 67% of voters backed a marijuana ballot question in November. But that ballot question's specific constitutional amendment was contingent on two things: passage of the ballot question and regulations put forth by the state.
            Those regulations were signed into law February 22, putting the ballot question and constitutional amendment into effect.  

      Lawmakers finally ended a six-week stalemate over how the state will penalize underage marijuana users, sending Murphy a “clean-up” bill designed to complement the pair already passed by the Legislature in December.
     The draft bills left open a major contradiction, with one stating that possessing marijuana under 21 years old was illegal while the other stated that no person — without age restriction — could face penalty for possession of up to 6 ounces of marijuana.
        The resulting compromise, which passed the Legislature on February 22   put into place a three-tiered warning system for both underage marijuana and alcohol use.
       Both will be treated as virtually the same crime, with the most serious penalty capped at a simple referral to community service groups to teach the offender about substance abuse.
All civil penalties and fines, even from underage drinking citations, were removed. Source Asbury Park Press

2 Attorney General Directive Governing Dismissals of Certain Pending Marijuana Charges 
On February 22, 2021, the Governor signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act and the marijuana decriminalization laws.  
  Under the New Jersey Constitution and the Criminal Justice Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 52:17B-97 to -117,  all prosecutors operating under the authority of the laws of the State of New Jersey are to dismiss pending marijuana-related charges in accordance with the guidance below. 
A. Cases for dismissal. Effective immediately, prosecutors shall seek dismissals of any pending charges listed in the following chart in any cases where a juvenile or adult’s conduct occurred on or before February 22, 2021. Dismissals can be requested on an ad hoc basis as the cases are scheduled for a municipal or superior court proceeding. In cases involving multiple charges, only the charges listed in the chart are to be dismissed pursuant to this Directive; all other charges and pending matters should remain. 
2C:35-5(b)(12) 2C:35-10(a)(3) 2C:35-10(a)(4) 2C:35-10(b) 
2C:35-10(c) 2C:36-2 
2C:36A-1 39:4-49.1 
Description of Statute 
Distribution of marijuana or hashish 
Possession of marijuana or hashish 
Possession of marijuana or hashish 
Under the influence – only when the individual was under the influence of marijuana or hashish 
Failure to properly dispose CDS – only when the individual fails to dispose of marijuana or hashish 
Possession of drug paraphernalia when the paraphernalia was used, or was possessed with intent to be used, to ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce marijuana or hashish into the body 
Any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense subject to conditional discharge pursuant to this section 
Possession of CDS in a vehicle – but only when the individual is in possession of marijuana or hashish in the vehicle 
         B. Cases already resolved. For those cases already resolved, pursuant to the new decriminalization laws, the Administrative Office of the Courts will vacate by operation of law any guilty verdict, plea, placement in a diversionary program, or other entry of guilt on a matter where the conduct occurred prior to February 22, 2021. 
         Also vacated will be any conviction, remaining sentence, ongoing supervision, or unpaid court-ordered financial assessment of any person who is or will be serving a sentence of incarceration, probation, parole or other form of community supervision as of February 22, 2021 as a result of the person’s conviction or adjudication of delinquency solely for the above listed charges. 
 Effective date. This Directive shall take effect February 22, 2021 
3   Springsteen should never have been charged with DWI, he had an attorney who fights to win.
  The breath machine reading here was only a .02- similar to drinking half a can of Bud Light. 
            In the case of United States of America vs. Bruce Springsteen, the singer was formally charged by an overzealous ranger with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol [DWI] , reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area. 
       Adam Baker, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the government, admitted that pertaining to the DWI and reckless driving charges, the government “cannot sustain its burden of proof.” [no surprise]
      The DWI should never have been filed since there was no complete proof of a violation of the DWI law 39:4-50. (a) A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle the person owns or which is in the person's custody or control or permits another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood 
Springsteen also should not have been charged by the Ranger with    Reckless driving, since the statute reads: “A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.”
      There was no evidence of driving a  vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard. 
       US  Magistrate Judge Montone overseeing the case noted, up until three summers ago, alcohol consumption was allowable at the Sandy Hook, New Jersey, park.
     Springsteen agreed to plead guilty to simple consuming alcohol in a closed area — during the hearing, Springsteen admitted to having “two small shots of tequila that was offered by fans he met in the park” — at the Gateway National Recreation Area.
         More at https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bruce-springsteen-arrest-1127186/

4. Login for Free March Wills seminars online Zoom 2021
     March 1, 2021 Piscataway Library Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar at 6pm free Zoom program open to the public Link for free registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScqUaEv63xNrVHFbmGHjkEoIuklLGkYqBwr0U384LzryU3e6Q/viewform

      March 2, 2021  East Brunswick Library Wills, Probate & Estate Planning 2021 update  at 7PM  

     March 9 Woodbridge Library Estate Planning seminar7pm
More info https://www.facebook.com/events/271486024411893

    March 15, 2021 Sayreville Public Library Will & Power of Attorney Seminar via Zoom at 6pm Registration at sayrevillelibrary.org

March 3, 2021  at 12 noon 
 Sponsored by Retired Police & Fire Middlesex & Monmouth Local 9 meeting NJRPFA at South Amboy Ancient Order of Hibernians AOH 271 2nd St, South Amboy, NJ 08879
  This is an opportunity for both Retired and active Police and Fire to meet members of Local 9 and receive a quick update in cases affecting law enforcement. The 15-minute presentation will be shown live on Facebook live.
  The presentation on recent cases will be followed by monthly meeting of Retired and active Police can also discuss issues regarding COLA and the pending legal battles in Trenton.
       For information or membership in Local 9, contact President JohnLeo Fedorka <jlaf57@gmail.com> Retired Police & Fire Middlesex & Monmouth Local 9 meeting NJRPFA. This pre-business meeting is not limited to just Middlesex & Monmouth law enforcement. Any interested active and retired law enforcement and fire can attend the update on Municipal Court.  Please share.
    Retired Police & Fire Middlesex & Monmouth welcome all who have retired Honorably from these jobs, as well as those who support us as associate members. Thank You.
        Speaker: KENNETH VERCAMMEN, Esq. of Edison
                  Contributing writer for the NJ Police Chief Magazine
Editor: NJ Municipal Court Law Review, Retired    
 Past President Middlesex Municipal Court Prosecutors Assoc
       New Jersey Retired Police & Firemen's Association, Inc. http://www.njrpfa.org
   About the NJ Retired Police and Firefighters Association, Local 9 of Middlesex and Monmouth Counties Local 9 NJRPFA.  The NJRPFA was established in 1987 to promote and develop a friendly spirit among its members, both retired and associate members, develop a friendly spirit among its members, both retired and associate members. Its main mission is to promote and encourage legislative action at the Federal, State and Municipal levels of government in protecting and improving the pensions.
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