New Jersey parents must be notified if their minor child is caught buying or possessing marijuana under a bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Friday.
Murphy, a Democrat, signed the legislation a day after the Democrat-led Legislature passed what lawmakers called a “cleanup” bill to correct last month’s law setting up the new recreational marijuana marketplace. It inexplicably and explicitly barred police from telling parents whether their children were unlawfully found in possession of marijuana.
Lawmakers moved the bill after what they said was an onslaught from constituents protesting the prohibition against parental notification.
Murphy didn’t offer any statement or explanation for why the change was necessary, nor did the bill’s sponsors explain how the prohibition came to be included in the February law.
Republicans needled the Democratic majority for “coming to our senses” and passing the new legislation.
Even though there was no opposition to the cleanup bill, it still didn’t go far enough in fixing the recreational marijuana legislation for some.
That’s because the February law continues to hold that officers could be guilty of depriving someone of their civil rights if law enforcement questions a minor stemming from the discovery of marijuana, alcohol or hashish.
“The potential for criminal liability in any interaction will prevent officers from intervening in situations where underage criminal activity occurs, allowing underage marijuana and alcohol use to run rampant in our schools, in our parks and on our beaches,” said the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police in a statement on Thursday.