New Jersey police ask public to help them counter new marijuana law that hamstrings law enforcementPosted by On


In a joint letter, seven New Jersey township police associations pleaded with residents to contact their local state representatives to counter a recent law that hamstrings policing abilities regarding under-age possession of alcohol and marijuana.   

On Feb. 22, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation decriminalizing the use and possession of up to six ounces of cannabis for ages 21 and up, but the legislation also included measures that Police Chief Stephen Beecher of Mount Olive Township, doesn’t believe people anticipated.

“What I do know is that when people voted on the referendum, it was whether or not to legalize marijuana,” he said. “Sixty seven percent of the people in New Jersey voted to legalize marijuana. But I’m sure 67 percent of the people — if they were to vote for it — wouldn’t vote to not be notified if their son or daughter had contact with the police because they were in unlawful possession of alcohol or marijuana.”

Under the new law, police officers are no longer allowed to call the parents of a minor caught in possession of marijuana or alcohol, when a warning has been issued.

“What the new law calls for is actually graduated warnings,” Beecher explained. “If you stop a car with somebody who was 17 in there…you are to issue them a warning.”

Beecher said that officers are not allowed to ask for identification, instead the minor in possession tells them their personal information for the warning.

“And as the law presently stands, you…

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In a joint letter, seven New Jersey township police associations pleaded with residents to contact their local state representatives to counter a recent law that hamstrings policing abilities regarding under-age possession of alcohol and marijuana.   

On Feb. 22, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation decriminalizing the use and possession of up to six ounces of cannabis for ages 21 and up, but the legislation also included measures that Police Chief Stephen Beecher of Mount Olive Township, doesn’t believe people anticipated.

“What I do know is that when people voted on the referendum, it was whether or not to legalize marijuana,” he said. “Sixty seven percent of the people in New Jersey voted to legalize marijuana. But I’m sure 67 percent of the people — if they were to vote for it — wouldn’t vote to not be notified if their son or daughter had contact with the police because they were in unlawful possession of alcohol or marijuana.”

Under the new law, police officers are no longer allowed to call the parents of a minor caught in possession of marijuana or alcohol, when a warning has been issued.

“What the new law calls for is actually graduated warnings,” Beecher explained. “If you stop a car with somebody who was 17 in there…you are to issue them a warning.”

Beecher said that officers are not allowed to ask for identification, instead the minor in possession tells them their personal information for the warning.

“And as the law presently stands, you…



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