Assemblywoman Stanfield joins Burlington County Police Chiefs in opposition to “dangerous” new child marijuana law
New law signed by Governor Murphy bans police from notifying parents if minor child possesses marijuana or alcohol
TRENTON – Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield railed against Governor Phil Murphy for signing a new law that forbids police officers from contacting parents if their minor child is caught with marijuana or alcohol.
“There’s no excuse for Governor Murphy and his followers to put through this law. It’s not rooted in reality of what any parent, regardless of political affiliation, wants. Stripping the right of parents to know when their child is in trouble with drugs or alcohol is one of the most unconscionable laws I’ve seen in a long time,” said Assemblywoman Stanfield, who served as Burlington County Sheriff for nearly two decades.
“This radical policy needs to be repealed, immediately, and I will work to see that happen,” Stanfield said.
Governor Murphy signed the law last week, which states that police are only allowed to give minors a warning, while banning parental notification if a minor child is found consuming or possessing marijuana or alcohol.
“Our officers believe all parents should have the right to know when their child is going down a dangerous path. We are sworn to protect our communities, which includes keeping children out of harm’s way,” said Riverton Police Chief John Shaw, who is the president of the Burlington County Police Chiefs’ Association. “God forbid the next time they decide to take drugs or alcohol, they hurt themselves or someone else, and their parents never had the opportunity to try and help them.”
The new legislation also says that police cannot search minors for any further drugs and alcohol besides what they see and cannot use the smell of marijuana as probable cause to stop a minor.
“The state is not only taking agency away from parents, but we’re also treating our cops as criminals and saying we don’t trust them to approach a minor. This does nothing but create distrust in our communities and harm the safety of our children,” Stanfield said.