New Jersey Requires Cops to Notify Parents of Minors Caught with Cannabis

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that requires parental notification by law enforcement whenever minors are caught illegally possessing cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Friday signed another “cleanup” bill for the state’s cannabis legalization regime, requiring parental notification when minors are caught illegally possessing cannabis, the Associated Press reports. Under the law signed by Murphy last month, parents would not be notified the first time a minor was caught with cannabis.

According to the bill text, the measure requires law enforcement officers to provide written warnings to parents. The warning must include the person’s name, address, date of birth, a copy of the warning containing this information, and a sworn statement that includes a description of the relevant facts and circumstances supporting the officer’s determination that the person committed the violation.

Under the legalization law, parents and guardians would have only been notified upon a minor’s second offense. For subsequent offenses, the law requires underage offenders to be provided with informational materials on community substance abuse programs for their second possession offense, and on the third offense, the warning is sent to the community drug treatment program along with the parents or guardians of the offender.

Following final approval of the legalization law by the governor, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal directed state, county, and municipal prosecutors to dismiss any cannabis-related charges for offenses no longer illegal under the reforms. The order also prohibits officers from using the odor of cannabis – either burnt or raw – as a “reasonable articulable suspicion” to initiate a stop or search of a person or their vehicle to determine a violation of a possession offense or a fourth-degree distribution offense.

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