New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told municipal prosecutors on Wednesday that they cannot unilaterally decriminalize possession and use of small amounts of marijuana, but can use their discretion to dismiss cases if they believe evidence is lacking or if the consequences of sentencing may be too harsh.

The pronouncement comes as the Legislature appears to be moving close to legalization of recreational marijuana in some form. State Senate and Assembly leaders have said action on pending legislation may come as soon as the end of September.

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