TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey police can be subject to third-degree criminal charges for making honest mistakes by trying to investigate underage use of alcohol and marijuana.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick agrees with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that the Legislature needs to clean up the state’s marijuana laws again because it punishes police for making good-faith actions to stop youth from using drugs and alcohol. Grewal testified before the Senate Budget Committee Thursday that police are afraid of harsh punishment.
“Discouraging law enforcement from protecting children against the dangers of using marijuana and alcohol is a major problem and the Legislature needs to step in to fix the flawed laws, yet again,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “An officer could be subject to a third-degree criminal charge for simply doing their jobs. The so-called social justice reforms are in fact endangering the welfare of residents. Before New Jersey has sold an ounce of adult-use marijuana we are forced to confront these unintended consequences.”
Bramnick introduced a bill (A-5523) last month eliminating the criminal liability for police.
The state attorney general’s office is advising law enforcement officers to “be cautious when they encounter an individual under the age of 21 who is in possession of marijuana, hashish, cannabis, or alcohol.”