A Prosecutor Is Pushing To Legalize Marijuana In New Jersey


Welcome to New JerseyJon-Henry “J.H.” Barr, Esq. is a prosecutor in New Jersey, and has been since 2001. He has personally seen how the justice system treats marijuana users. I think that there are many prosecutors out there that support marijuana reform privately, but never express it publicly. Prosecutors serve a vital governmental function by helping put away bad guys, but that should in no way include marijuana users. However, sadly, it happens in America (including New Jersey) all the time.

Mr. Barr is refusing to sit on the sidelines and see the government ruin good people’s lives while at the same time wasting limited government resources. That’s why he is fighting to legalize marijuana in New Jersey. Per NJ Spotlight:

Barr has recently been quoted in news releases and advocacy materials related to the New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform campaign, where he serves as a steering committee member. (He serves as an individual, not as a representative of the prosecutors association, although the association endorsed a resolution in 2014 calling for marijuana legalization, subject to “reasonable regulations.”)

Led by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, the diverse group joined forces last year to advocate for a system in which pot is legally available for adults to purchase, and regulated and taxed by the state — similar to alcohol sales. NJUMR claims current law “wastes more than $127 million each year on a failed policy” that unfairly punishes poor communities of color without improving public safety. The campaign’s membership makes it unique; the partnership includes physicians and law enforcement officials, in addition to civil rights and community advocates.

Barr said that for him, the bottom line is simple. As a lifelong Republican and fiscal conservative, “We are against wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on government programs that do not work and are not necessary,” adding, “and that is the war on drugs.” He continued, “I am more committed to changing the law than ever, because the status quo is a disaster. I’ve even used the word ‘insane.’ I realize those are strong words. But those are accurate words.”

I have long said that it confuses me as to why conservatives and law enforcement seem to always lead the charge against marijuana reform. Conservatives are supposed to believe in small government, be against government waste and intrusion, and are supposed to believe in states’ rights. All of those are embodied by the marijuana reform movement. I’m not a cop, but if I was, I would be very frustrated in the fact that I’m supposed to arrest and lock up marijuana users, when I should be out fighting real crime. I tip my hat to Mr. Barr. I’m sure it’s not easy standing up for reform given his current occupation, but because of his current occupation I’d imagine his message will resonate with New Jersey residents much more than the average speaker.


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  • skoallio

    one fringe prosecutor

    • Barry White

      Yeah, a prosecutor from a different planet. I’m a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma and Arkansas and of course deal with prosecutors all the time. I can’t imagine any I deal with coming out for legalization, although some of the younger ones will say it one on one. And their state prosecutors association came out for legalization too? Really? Ours would fight it tooth and nail. They never want to legalize anything or reduce punishments or get rid of sentence enhancements or anything like that. They want as much as they can get to throw at people. That’s how they get everybody to shut up and plead guilty. That’s how they go after people they don’t like. We’re in the tough talking hardcore law and order Bible Belt South though where our few Democrats tend to be to the right of Northern Republicans at least on social issues. A prosecutor with “crazy liberal” ideas like marijuana legalization would never get elected anywhere down here. If they do believe in legalization that’s something they keep to themselves, certainly in public. Voter turnout is abysmal down here and it skews old and gray and conservative, kind of like our juries that come from our voter registration rolls. Things are changing some here. Our juries aren’t so gung ho about the war on drugs anymore, but I doubt we see any elected prosecutors coming out for legalizing marijuana anytime soon.

      • No matter your politics; Marijuana Prohibition is ridiculous Goverment waste. Our Millennials will correct this; we can’t afford it.

      • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

        Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi are three of the
        “southern” states that actually DO have a
        statewide Voters Initiative process,
        (are able to circulate petitions for signatures).

        Arkansasans For Compassionate Care has a drive
        to get medical marijuana on the ballot this November.
        [The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act].

        And Mississippi has a petition drive to get a constitutional
        amendment on the ballot, (Prop. 48), that would re-legalize
        both medical and personal use, but it did not get enough
        qualifying signatures to be placed on the 08-November-2016 ballot.
        (perhaps 2017, then?
        They’re still allowed to continue gathering signatures for November 2017!!!).

  • michael_ellis

    Gov. KrispyKreme can’t be liking this …

  • moldy

    “Conservatives are supposed to believe in small government…”

    Sure they do but the religious right and the parasites prevent a logical approach to the drug war. Drug testers, cops for profit, SAM, etc… we know who’s dragging us backwards.

  • Prohibition will decrease at the same rate as white hair die off.

    The eldest generation was INDOCTRINATED with reefer madness and old people DO NOT CHANGE, in fact they hate change, most would go to the grave hating pot simply due to lack of knowledge/truth and lack of desire to change their minds.

    You can educate an 80 year old today and tomorrow they will need a refresher course as they will repeat the reefer madness cliche’s over again from indoctrination when they were younger

    Indoctrination is very difficult to remove. When something is BURNED into your brain thousands of times it is very difficult to change those ‘instant’ thoughts.

    Reefer madness was played before EVERY movie at EVERY theater for YEARS, to the point where folks would ‘mouth’ or even speak the words as the movie played. People were INDOCTRINATED, not just fed bad info but were FORCED to believe lies.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am an old fart also.

    • “Old people” = anyone over 30. Cannabinoid production declines markedly after age 25. Cannabinoids give the brain its plasticity.

      • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

        Cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms are the “Fountains of Youth”.
        They both supplement the endogenous compounds that decline w/ age,
        (Endocannabinoids and tryptamines, respectively…).

      • Pimp Pyschology

        exercise produces cannabinoids, you’re welcome.

  • Reasonable regulations = excuses for arrests.

    No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

    • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

      “No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes”

      Texas State House Rep David Simpson’s HB 2165,
      introduced last year there, proposed to do just that,
      (strike ALL references to “marijuana” from the criminal code).

      We need MORE legislators to introduce and vote-in THIS form of “legalization”.

  • Brandon Rohlfs

    While the old-heads squabble in New Jersey I will be living in Denver enjoying myself. The rest of the suckers can keep paying the highest property taxes in the nation.

  • joe_king

    If US citizens possessed unalienable rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, you would not be harassed for possessing marijuana. They can shove their citizenship where the sun doesn’t shine!!!

  • Dan

    Marijuana is only illegal because back in the late 20’s early 30’s a man named William Randolph Hurst was in the timber business. They were talking about using Hemp as paper to save money.
    He would have lost a lot of money. So, he started a smear campaign against marijuana. And here we sit 80 plus years later with marijuana being illegal. Yet, alcohol and tobacco are legal.
    Alcohol and nicotine are highly addictive. Getting off alcohol could actually kill someone if they are an alcoholic.
    Alcohol is one of the worse drugs to get off of. Weed, on the other hand, is not at all addictive.
    Wake up people and fight to legalize marijuana. If they can make money off taxes on cigarettes and alcohol than let the country make money off taxing marijuana. Maybe we can bring this country out of this recession we have been in by legalizing marijuana.

    • Joe Everal

      Actually marijuana is addictive any and everything can and eventually will be addictive if done enough shopping sex coffee you sound smart enough to know that

      • Dan

        Psychologically maybe. But not physically.
        Believe me when I say I smoked drank and smoked weed. Cigarettes were not as hard to quit as most people think. I have been 11 years smoke free.
        Alcohol is hard as hell to quit. I am not an alcoholic. But, I do know people who are and had to be hospitalized to quit drinking. They almost died.
        As for weed, I have stopped on numerous occasions with no problem at all. No withdraw or sickness or anything.
        I use weed medicinally. I only use at night to help with neurological sleep problems.
        Weed helps substantially. My family doctor suggested I try it and it works wonders.
        I also have a seizure disorder. I have not had any seizures since I started using weed.
        The main point here is weed maybe psychologically addictive like anything, But, there are absolutely no physical withdraw symptoms from weed.
        And I agree that anything can be addictive. The point is are there physical withdraw symptoms from weed. The answer is absolutely not.