Outcry grows over marijuana parental notification — NJ Top News 3/4
Disbelief continues over ban on police telling parents about kids using weed.
Parents remain baffled and angry at new laws in New Jersey that ban cops from telling them if their kids are caught smoking weed or drinking. Police who do could face serious criminal charges.
The Legislature passed and Gov. Phil Murphy signed decriminalization laws under the guise of social justice but also because without it, they would have lost the support of the Legislative Black Caucus for legislation that set up a legal weed market.
Police unions have told their members to just stay away from anyone they see smoking weed. The New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association issued an urgent memo calling the new laws "treacherous." Many parents say the laws interfere with their parental rights. Some experts suggest it could lead to more teen addiction.
The version of decriminalization was likely not what most voters believed they were approving in the legal weed ballot question last November. Local and county government officials continue to push back, and demand the law be repealed.
The Seaside Heights Borough Council has passed a resolution demanding the Legislature repeal the most controversial aspect of the law.
On Facebook, Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz says the ban on police telling parents about underage marijuana use was not the will of the voters. Vaz chided the Legislature for "turning the enforcement of the law upside down" and "making criminals of police officers." He is urging residents to call their lawmakers and demand they fix "this awful piece of legislation."
South Brunswick police Chief Raymond Hayducka called the law "ridiculous." In an interview with Patch of South Brunswick, Hayducka said parents are right to be mad.
Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried said the new law is "counterproductive to years of relationship and trust-building" and "a serious detriment to safety and well-being of our children."
Last week, the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners issued a joint statement calling the legislation "truly disturbing and discouraging," arguing that it "shows children there are no major consequences if they're found using marijuana or alcohol."
Police chiefs in Westfield, Point Pleasant and the State Association of Chiefs of Police all denounced the decriminalization bill.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, is leading efforts to pass legislation that would allow police to communicate any drug use with parents, as well as another provision that removes the smell of marijuana as "probable cause" for police to begin an investigation or question a suspect.
Democratic leadership in the Senate and Assembly have been quiet about the issue since it was passed and signed into law but have given no indication Bramnick's legislation will even receive a hearing.
More N.J. Top News:
- Frustration. Anger. Fatigue. Loneliness. Residents long for a return to normal a year after the pandemic began.
- Conflicting information continues from Gov. Murphy. Lifting restrictions appear random.
- The pace of vaccinations increases, but still well short of benchmarks to fully re-open the state. More eligible.
- Some medical experts point to drop in nursing home deaths and infections as proof vaccinating works to kill COVID.
- New Jersey streamlines the process for the long-term unemployed to continue receiving benefits.
- Gas prices are now increasing about a penny per day in New Jersey. When will it end?
- The housing market is surprisingly busy for this time of year. COVID gets the credit.
- Police find AR-15 in car involved in a road rage incident in New Jersey.
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