A message from Maywood Police Chief Terence Kenny:
The State of New Jersey drafted three Bills that Governor Murphy signed into Law on February 22nd, 2021 to legalize, regulate, and decriminalize marijuana.
The reason for this message is to make parents aware that part of the law deals with underage consumption/possession of alcohol as well as underage consumption/possession of marijuana.
The Maywood Police Department wants our parents to be aware and informed that we will be forced to alter how we handle our interactions with individuals who are in possession of marijuana and/or alcohol in any public place including a school setting as a result of these new laws.
As a result of the new laws, the following has been changed:
1. The odor of marijuana and/or alcohol no longer constitutes reasonable articulate suspicion to initiate a stop of an individual under the age of 21, nor does it provide probable cause to search the person's personal property or vehicle.
2. The possession of an alcoholic beverage that is observed in plain sight shall not constitute probable cause to initiate a search of an individual under the age of 21 nor can you search the individual's property or vehicle to determine a violation of any law.
3. Any individual under 21 who possesses marijuana or alcohol shall not be arrested, detained, or taken into custody except to the extent required to issue a written warning.
4. Under the new Law, officers are forbidden from contacting a parent/guardian when an individual under 21 possesses marijuana or alcohol. Parents/guardians may only be contacted after a second offense.
We at the Maywood Police Department have many questions and concerns with respect to these new laws and the potential dangers and pitfalls. That said, while we wait for guidance on these laws, we can assure you that we will still make every effort to educate and guide our children on the dangers of alcohol and marijuana. We will always put our children's interests at the forefront.