Opinion: Governor Murphy Screws Over Parents and Police With Pot Law
After voter approval, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation this week moving New Jersey into the zone of legalizing marijuana.
That's fine and good, the people have spoken and all that. It'll take some time but in the not-too-distant future, you'll be able to legally purchase pot in the state. (Don't call your dealer - it's not legal to buy yet.)
The problem with the legislation is that it handcuffs police - and turns its back on parents.
According to an article on our co-owned Townsquare Media website, NJ1015.com, if police come across your underage son or daughter smoking pot, police CANNOT inform you, the caring parent. It'll be a secret between the law and your kid.
So, if you're been trying to be the good parent, trying to steer your kid in the right direction, if they veer off course, and the police catch them, YOU CANNOT BE INFORMED! This isn't an option, the legislation says they CAN'T tell you about it!
Hey, thanks, Governor Phil!
On top of pot, the new legislation also crosses over and does the same for underage drinking!
If your 13-year-old kid is caught at the park with a joint and a bottle of vodka - you won't find out about it. It's the Governor's and you child's little secret.
Isn't that special?
As a parent - especially a caring and loving parent, Governor Phil has just pushed you out of the loop of raising your own child.
In fact, officers could face criminal penalties themselves if they do tell you. It requires them to issue a warning on a first offense. For a second offense, you would be notified if the child is under 18. A third offense triggers a referral to drug education or treatment.
Oh, don't blame the police for any of this either. Their hands are essentially tied, according to NJ1015.com:
The criminal penalties police face if they violate the new laws, already has them wary of doing anything. Police union leaders are advising police to not approach anyone they see using weed in public until the new rules are clarified. The New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association called the decriminalization law "treacherous" in an advisory to members.
PS.... I'm no lawyer but I'm guessing if your 17-year-old gets drunk and high and crashes his car and kills someone, you, the parent, can be legally and/or financially responsible. It's a shame that the cops found your kid in the park a half hour before the crash, but couldn't tell you about it.
Thanks, Governor Phil! Great move!