Maplewood TC Urges Gov. Murphy to Release Those Charged with Marijuana Possession

by Jenna Sundel
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The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey is question one on the ballot and Maplewood is already taking steps to prepare for its passage.

The board voted unanimously at its Oct. 20 meeting to send a letter urging Governor Phil Murphy to release those convicted of possession of marijuana and expunge their records.

Committeeman Greg Lembrich presented the idea after hearing about a similar letter sent by officials in Teaneck. Lembrich said that it is likely that the legalization of marijuana will be passed, so the Township Committee needs to start thinking ahead.

“It’s certainly, from what I have heard, expected to pass, so we have to think beyond that and also think more broadly about our community and our state’s commitment to racial justice, racial equality, and equal enforcement of laws,” Lembrich said.

Lembrich also said that if marijuana becomes legal, it would be wrong to keep people incarcerated on marijuana possession charges. “I think if we’re going to be legalizing marijuana, to have people remain incarcerated, to remain with criminal records and all of the stigmas and repercussions that carries, is just wrong,” Lembrich said.

The committee had no questions for Lembrich and decided to pass the measure immediately. Election Day is on Nov. 3 and the next Township Committee Meeting is on Nov. 4 at 7:30 pm.

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