O’Scanlon: Democrat Bill Tells Kids “Don’t Drink, Smoke Pot Instead”

O’Scanlon: Democrat Bill Tells Kids “Don’t Drink, Smoke Pot Instead”

Senator Declan O’Scanlon said legislation being advanced by Trenton Democrats to address concerns about teen rowdiness caused by juvenile justice reforms and cannabis legalization will send kids the wrong message about drug use.

“Instead of fixing our mistakes and letting cops do their jobs again, the bill proposed by Democrats will only address underage alcohol use and not marijuana,” said O’Scanlon. “We’re basically telling kids, ‘don’t drink, smoke pot instead.’ It’s absolutely ridiculous legislation.”

In 2021, Governor Murphy signed a cannabis law that includes a provision that a law enforcement officer is guilty of the third-degree crime of Official Deprivation of Rights if, during the course of an investigation of suspected underage possession of alcohol or marijuana, the officer knowingly, but not necessarily intentionally, violates any of the new procedural requirements mandated by the new law.

For example, an officer accused of detaining a person longer than necessary to investigate a complaint, which is a subjective determination in many cases, may be sentenced to between three and five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The law prohibits police from searching teens for cannabis and alcohol, even if they know it’s in their possession.

A new bill sponsored by Democrats, S-3954, would restore some penalties for underage possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages observed in plain sight, while maintaining the prohibition on searches.

The proposed legislation doesn’t address underage marijuana use at all.

“If you’re underage drinking, just slide your beer into your pocket and there’s nothing a police officer can do,” said O’Scanlon. “Or, better yet, just smoke pot, because the Legislature apparently doesn’t care about underage marijuana use at all.”

O’Scanlon and Senator Anthony M. Bucco sponsor legislation, S-642, that would remove criminal liability for law enforcement officers who have an investigative encounter with an underage person for possession of alcohol or cannabis unless civil rights are violated.

“We don’t believe the Legislature should give teens an incentive to use marijuana,” O’Scanlon added. “Instead, we should give police the tools they need to do their jobs and keep our children and communities safe.”

(Visited 100 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape