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New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner speaks at Seton Hall Law School in 2019. (Photo: Seton Hall University).

362,000 marijuana cases expunged from court records

By Joey Fox, September 16 2021 2:13 pm

More than 362,000 marijuana cases have been expunged from court records since July 1, the New Jersey Judiciary announced today – a significant increase from the 88,000 cases that had been expunged as of July 12. 

In January, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that individuals who had been pardoned could have their records expunged, overriding a previous statute that disallowed expungement for individuals with prior convictions. Given that ruling, and the ongoing legalization of marijuana in the state, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner ordered that some marijuana cases would be automatically expunged beginning on July 1.

1,200 people have been released from probation as part of the automatic expungement, and anyone whose case has been dismissed will no longer have to report it on job, housing, and school applications.

Among the offenses that have been expunged are possession of less than 50 ounces of marijuana, distribution of less than one ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Some other drug-related cases were not automatically expunged, but those whose cases fall under this category can file a motion to review their case.

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