Attorney Michael Roberts was proud to serve as an amicus party on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in State v. Gomes argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court. The case involved four defendants who previously received conditional discharges for marijuana possession and were seeking entry into the Pretrial Intervention Program on new charges. The question presented before the Court is whether the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) which legalized marijuana in the state and had broad sweeping reforms to undo the damages caused by the prosecution of low level marijuana offenses should be permitted to apply for PTI even though these defendants had used their one prior diversion.
The Supreme Court held that defendants who had received conditional discharges for certain marijuana offenses prior to CREAMMA could now seek admission to PTI. CREAMMA requires that all cases of purchasing or possession be expunged by operation of law. This ruling is consistent with the intention behind CREAMMA the legislative goals of its drafters.
Left open was the question of whether defendants who previously received PTI for qualifying marijuana offenses under CREAMMA can again receive the benefit of the diversion if subsequently charged. The Lawyers at Roberts & Teeter strongly feel the answer is yes. Whether the prior possession which led to a diversion was under 50 grams or under 6 ounces of marijuana the outcome should be the same. Prior marijuana related diversions should not be a bar to subsequent applications.
CREAMMA in New Jersey
Initially, CREAMMA applied only to medical marijuana cases. The law was signed into effect in 2010, and it has since been amended several times, now allowing for recreational use. Adults over the age of 21 can legally possess up to six ounces of marijuana or up to 170 grams of hashish.
The law also provides a framework for regulating the cultivation, processing, and sale of recreational marijuana through licensed dispensaries. It is also meant to expunge prior offenses from criminal records. It is this last provision that caused (732) 607-5553 to get involved in State v. Gomes.
Roberts & Teeter, LLC is here to help New Jersey residents who are facing injustice. We work equally hard for all our clients, and we can use our proven skills to assist you. For a free consultation, schedule time with us online or call our office at (732) 607-5553.