Client Alert – Murphy Administration to Hold Public Hearing on Marijuana Reclassification in Response to Kadonsky Ruling
In response to Walsh’s successful challenge to the prior administration’s 2017 refusal to reconsider the classification of marijuana, New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs has announced that it will hear public comment on how marijuana should be classified under New Jersey’s Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, N.J.S.A. § 24:21-1 et seq. (the “CDSA”). Public comment will be heard on April 19, 2018 in Newark and again on April 24, 2018 in Trenton. Each city will host two sessions on the stated dates; one from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and another 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.
The Division will entertain comments on marijuana’s actual or relative potential for and patterns of abuse including scope, duration and significance of abuse; the scientific evidence of any pharmacological effect(s) of marijuana; current scientific knowledge regarding marijuana; marijuana’s psychic or physiological dependence liability; and whether marijuana is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under the CDSA.
Referenced in the Division’s press release is Walsh’s successful appeal in Kadonsky v. Lee, in which Judge Guadagno, writing for the majority, held that marijuana’s Schedule I designation under the CDSA must be revisited because the Division Director had the authority to reclassify marijuana without any change in federal law and New Jersey has already recognized marijuana’s accepted uses in medical treatment by passing the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act in 2009. The ruling has received considerable media coverage.
Walsh will make a written submission on behalf of Mr. Kadonsky and will appear for comment. Written submissions from the public will be accepted through April 12, 2018. Pre-registration is not required, but those who do not pre-register will only be permitted to speak as time allows.