Once upon a time a long time ago as a teenager the cops brought me home to my mom drunk. They didn’t bring me home as a way for me to avoid punishment, they knew my mom’s punishment would be worse than anything law enforcement would do. Punish me she did! And, she waited until the next morning while I was suffering one of the earliest hangovers I can remember to deliver my well-deserved ass-beating.
Thanks to the New Jersey Legislature passing a marijuana cleanup bill and Governor Phil Murphy signing everything that needed to be signed no kid will ever be delivered an ass-beating for being brought home by the cops drunk (or high) again.
16-year-olds are now safe to hide in the shadows next to the liquor store and wait until they see some random dude they think looks cool enough that they can talk him into going in the store and buy them beer or hard liquor and even buy a joint from the guy.
The new law is clear: your kid has to get caught with weed, hash or booze TWICE before the cops can notify a parent.
State Senator Michael Testa was right when he said in a press release yesterday:
“Parents are hauled down to the police station if they let their 8-year-old walk to the park alone, but Democrats apparently think they shouldn’t even be notified if the same child is caught by police smoking pot or drinking alcohol,” said Testa (R-1). “It’s absolute insanity to say that parents don’t have a right to know.”
Testa hit the nail on the head referring to the new law as “absolute insanity” and to make matters worse, cops can’t do their jobs when it comes to underaged drug use and drinking. From the New Jersey State PBA Facebook Page:
The State Legislature this morning passed legislation to formally legalize the use of marijuana in accordance with the Constitutional Amendment that passed in November. Unfortunately, the legislation was amended with language that contains severe penalties on law enforcement officers who attempt to use the odor or possession of marijuana AND alcoholic beverages as a reason to stop and search minors to enforce the law. We are urging every member of law enforcement to avoid approaching people with marijuana until a proper legal analysis and direction can be developed once this law is signed by the Governor.
All the cops can do the first time your kid is caught with weed or drinking is write them a warning. They cannot tell the parents until the kid is caught a second time. It’s ridiculous.
Here’s a little more of what the State PBA had to say:
The legislation is treacherous to you because it creates a penalty of 3rd Degree Deprivation of Civil Rights if an officer uses the odor or possession of marijuana or alcoholic beverages as the reason for initiating an investigatory stop of a person. The new law states a law enforcement officer can not use the odor of marijuana or alcohol as reasonable articulable suspicion to initiate an investigatory stop. The new law states a minor CAN NOT consent to be searched and that a law enforcement officer no longer has probable cause to search a minor for illegally using marijuana or alcohol. And if an officer violates a minor’s rights by using pot or alcohol as the reason for a search then the officer will be charged with deprivation of civil rights.
This bill dangerously ties your hands. It establishes penalties of only warnings for illegal use by minors of marijuana or alcohol BUT it essentially prevents an officer from even approaching a person suspected of being a minor. Absent the commission of another crime or clear legal guidance officers are being forced to ask themselves if writing a warning is worth risking being accused and charged with a 3rd degree crime? The mere smell of marijuana and its use in your presence will no longer be grounds to search an individual.
Some are thinking I probably shouldn’t care about any of this. Well, I’m a grandfather now, so I do care. If I’m still alive in 15 years I don’t want my granddaughter thinking it’s okay to go out, buy some weed and walk down the street smoking a joint.
I can hear those same people saying, “It’s just pot.”
I’m not going to lie, I have smoked pot and I did more than just experiment. Experience tells me pot is a gateway drug. I know there is no way that in my younger ears I would have ever dropped acid or snorted a few lines of coke or popped black beauties if I had not smoked pot. It was the folks I got the pot from or smoked the weed with who introduced me to the coke, speed and acid.
But pot is legal! That’s a stupid argument because even in 15 years it will not be legal for my granddaughter to walk into a weed store and buy it. She will have to buy pot from the local dealer which has the potential to lead to experimenting with other drugs.
While I really don’t care what an adult does with weed the way legalization treats use by minors is wrong.
I worry about my nephews, both of whom are about to get their drivers licenses. I know my brother and sister keep a close eye on their kids but you can’t keep an eye on them 24-7. Hopefully, my nephews just say no.