NJ criminalizes cops and silences parents (Opinion)
Only New Jersey politicians could screw up legalizing pot.
First we had Gov. Christie a few years ago facilitating the legalization of medical marijuana. Something I supported, except the state in a desperate attempt to monetize it actually made it a difficult and very expensive process.
Now with the voters having approved legal pot by passing a ballot question, the Legislature and now Gov. Murphy are at it again. Problem is that in the name of so-called "social justice," which we all know is the dog whistle for "anti-cop," they've made a mess of a well intentioned idea instead of recognizing that cops have a job to do when it comes to underage drinking and drug use and can often provide the saving action that can help pull kids out of a dangerous path of self destruction.
The Black legislative caucus and hypocrite elites like Se. Nick Scutari and Gov. Murphy got together and instead of decriminalizing pot, they criminalized police action. The cops can't even search or question an underage person if they smell or see pot or alcohol. Right from the new law:
A person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages or cannabis items is not capable of giving lawful consent to a search to determine a violation of this section, and a law enforcement officer shall not request that a person consent to a search for that purpose.
(b)The odor of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, cannabis, or cannabis item, or burnt marijuana, hashish, cannabis, or cannabis item, shall not constitute reasonable articulable suspicion to initiate an investigatory stop of a person, nor shall it constitute probable cause to initiate a search of a person or that person’s personal property to determine a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection. Additionally, the unconcealed possession of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, hashish, or cannabis item in violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, observed in plain sight by a law enforcement officer, shall not constitute probable cause to initiate a search of a person or that person’s personal property to determine any further violation of that paragraph or any other violation of law. -
Perhaps the worst part is that a cop who tries to do the right thing could be subject to a criminal charge facing five years in prison and thousands in fines. As a result, the Left got what they wanted: they took the idea of defunding the police, got a law passed to prevent cops from enforcing the law and as a result, the largest cop union in the state is calling on people to call the governor instead of 9-1-1 for underage drinking and drug abuse. The cops are right. Proud of my friend Pat Colligan for taking a stand.
"This language is anti-police rhetoric at its worst and its consequences will be real. Underage users of marijuana will be free to smoke it anywhere, including in places the bill says is illegal, because merely stopping a person to enforce the law is now illegal for police. Drug dealers will quickly learn to hide their drugs, guns and evidence of crimes on anyone under 18 years of age since merely lighting a joint as the officer approaches will put the officer in jeopardy of making an illegal search and being charged criminally."
"The solution exists to resolve this, either make it completely legal or provide an officer the right to ask for ID if marijuana is present and the rest of the law governing the issuance of warnings takes over. Otherwise, this is a bill intentionally designed to make law enforcement officers criminals overnight in New Jersey.
To the good citizens of the State of New Jersey: If you as a citizen would like to report the underage use of marijuana or alcohol, please do not call 9-1-1. Call the Governor’s office or your local state legislator. We have literally been handcuffed." - Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA President
Happy to report that this one is all on the shoulders of the Democratic majority and the governor. The law passed with ZERO GOP votes. Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso joined us on the morning show to discuss the ramifications of the bill and how damaging it is to parents and our communities.
Former Democratic Linden Council Member Peter Brown also joined us and discussed with strong emotion how dangerous this new law is to the Black community. He explained that his perspective is based on being a Black man with Black children and strongly saying this legislation is certainly not a positive for him and his family.
My friend and former cop Mark Rizzoli, who is a councilman in Old Bridge, added that kids will be likely recruited by drug dealers as the cops are now forced to leave them alone. Wow.
How far we've devolved as a society in New Jersey. Cops are the criminals and parents are part of the problem. Do the Democrats think that 14-year-olds who are drinking and smoking pot while skipping classes are better off left to their own decisions?
Shame on the elites and their shills who stand to profit on the backs of minority communities, which will further suffer economic devastation at the hands of people who claim to want to help.
Shame on the lawyers and lobbyists from affluent communities who pushed this anti-cop and anti-parent law through so they could claim victory and justify their billing. Another reason the exodus from NJ will continue.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.