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Release marijuana offenders from prison

With a legal market for recreational marijuana poised to launch in the Garden State, multiple groups are calling on Gov. … Read More

With a legal market for recreational marijuana poised to launch in the Garden State, multiple groups are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to go even further with loosening restrictions related to cannabis.

“At a time where we can be reinvesting in communities, fighting a global pandemic, we’re spending millions of dollars in the state of New Jersey to incarcerate people on offenses for something that is now legal,” Sarah Gersten, executive director and general counsel at Last Prisoner Project, told New Jersey 101.5.

LPP is the main group behind a letter sent Monday to Murphy, urging him to utilize his executive clemency power to release anyone still incarcerated for cannabis-only convictions in New Jersey.

“We have clients who are still incarcerated for years, even decades, in the state for a distribution or possession charge that is over a certain amount,” Gersten said. “Regulated dispensaries are going to be able to sell 10 times that in a day, legally.”

The groups pointed to the case of Humberto Ramirez, who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for transporting 6 pounds of marijuana, just days after New Jersey residents voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Gersten said advocates can’t determine the exact number of people this clemency could affect, because offenses aren’t coded as marijuana-specific, but there are hundreds of people serving sentences in New Jersey prisons for controlled substances offenses.

Beyond the creation of a legal market, New Jersey has taken steps to…

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With a legal market for recreational marijuana poised to launch in the Garden State, multiple groups are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to go even further with loosening restrictions related to cannabis.

“At a time where we can be reinvesting in communities, fighting a global pandemic, we’re spending millions of dollars in the state of New Jersey to incarcerate people on offenses for something that is now legal,” Sarah Gersten, executive director and general counsel at Last Prisoner Project, told New Jersey 101.5.

LPP is the main group behind a letter sent Monday to Murphy, urging him to utilize his executive clemency power to release anyone still incarcerated for cannabis-only convictions in New Jersey.

“We have clients who are still incarcerated for years, even decades, in the state for a distribution or possession charge that is over a certain amount,” Gersten said. “Regulated dispensaries are going to be able to sell 10 times that in a day, legally.”

The groups pointed to the case of Humberto Ramirez, who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for transporting 6 pounds of marijuana, just days after New Jersey residents voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Gersten said advocates can’t determine the exact number of people this clemency could affect, because offenses aren’t coded as marijuana-specific, but there are hundreds of people serving sentences in New Jersey prisons for controlled substances offenses.

Beyond the creation of a legal market, New Jersey has taken steps to…

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Source: https://mmpconnect.com/release-marijuana-offenders-from-prison/

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