Find out if your New Jersey weed conviction has been cleared

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The New Jersey court system has struck out more than 362,000 marijuana and hashish cases since the state’s new decriminalization laws came into effect on July 1. Now the authorities are trying to alert people who have benefited from the automatic deregistration.

Courts in New Jersey launched an awareness campaign last week to let people know if they had ever been convicted of minor offenses involving marijuana or hashish that those convictions have been erased from their records.

Once a case has been written off, a person no longer needs to disclose their old conviction on applications for employment, housing or education programs.

The awareness campaign promoting the deregistration process, which includes billboards, radio and bus advertisements, is required by laws signed by Governor Phil Murphy in February. Possession of 6 ounces or less of marijuana and its use on private property is now legal in New Jersey for persons 21 and over.

Court officials said the campaign is designed to reach anyone convicted of:

  • distribution of marijuana under 1 ounce or hashish under 5 grams,
  • possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hash,
  • possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 5 grams or less of hashish.

If any of the cases included a charge of possession of paraphernalia, use of or being under the influence of a controlled hazardous substance, or failure to legally dispose of a controlled hazardous substance, these records were also deleted.

Years of records

The cases go back years, if not decades, according to Judge Glenn Grant, Acting Executive Director of the Courts of New Jersey. He said the court would not contact the people directly, and releasing the names of people whose records were erased would be problematic.

“We don’t want to erase it and then post it on the website, so the general public can say, ‘Oh, there was a previous conviction for marijuana,’” Grant said. “It seems to be incompatible with what we’re trying to do.”

The courts have created a website – njcourts.gov/marijuana – to explain cases that have been struck out and to guide people through the process of getting their struck cases certified.

More than 2,800 certifications have been issued to date to people who want proof that their conviction has been cleared, Grant said.

“Every day someone comes along,” he said. “We hope to see a significant influx of people once the campaign is launched in a meaningful way. “

The campaign will last at least six months. The judiciary also works with law enforcement to ensure police records are also erased.


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