Home>Highlight>Platkin wins case he personally argued before N.J. Supreme Court

Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. (Photo: Tim Larsen, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety).

Platkin wins case he personally argued before N.J. Supreme Court

Individuals convicted of previous marijuana offense can quality for PTI program

By David Wildstein, February 14 2023 2:26 pm

Attorney General Matt Platkin scored a personal victory today, winning a case he had argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court last month.

The state’s top court ruled that the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act supersedes a ban on people who complete a diversionary program not being eligible to qualify for the Pretrial Intervention Program.    The state maintains that the legislature intended to wipe away all prior consequences of a previous marijuana offense, including qualification for PTI.

The Supreme Court overturned an appellate court decision written by Judge Hany Mawla, finding the legislature was presumed to be familiar with the PTI prohibition and did not specifically word the bill to change the policy.

“I am thrilled that the Court today rightly recognized the monumental nature of our State’s marijuana reforms—which not only made cannabis legal going forward, but made sure that individuals who were previously charged with marijuana offenses had their slates wiped clean,” Platkin said.

Platkin became the first state attorney general in more than a dozen years to personally argue a case before the state Supreme Court.

“I was honored to argue this case given the importance of this issue, and I am grateful today’s decision reflects the clear intent of Governor Murphy and the Legislature in enacting these reforms,” he said.

Pressure now shifts to New Jersey Solicitor General Jeremy Feigenbaum, who will argue the state’s case to disband the bistate Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor before the U.S. Supreme Court on February 27.

In 2009, Attorney General Anne Milgram,  now the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, appeared before the state’s top court to argue that a new funding formula advocated by Gov. Jon Corzine should end decades of judicial oversight of school funding issues.

In the old days, attorneys general regularly appeared in court.  Attorney General David Wilentz personally prosecuted Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the kidnapping and murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son.

Last year, Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Platkin as the 56th Attorney General of New Jersey. The Supreme Court’s ruling came exactly one year after Platkin assumed office as acting attorney general on February 14, 2022.

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