A New Amendment to New Jersey’s Cannabis Laws

The New Jersey State Assembly passed a bill last week amending the New Jersey Cannabis Laws, requiring a parent or guardian to be notified if a minor is found in possession of marijuana or alcohol on the first offense. The legislation originally did not allow law enforcement to notify parents if a minor is found with marijuana or alcohol until after a second offense.

I strongly support this amendment and am hopeful that this is a step in the right direction in protecting today’s youth from experimenting with marijuana. The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) research has shown that parents who talk to their children for at least 15 minutes a day have children who are 67 percent less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.

Parents and guardians should be given the information and have the opportunity to talk with their children when trial use is first discovered. This can be a teachable moment for families to discuss the effects that marijuana can have on the developing mind and body.

In light of this new bill, it seems fitting that last week was National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, a week-long observance designed to inspire dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among today’s youth and improve the prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide.

Continued wishes to stay safe and well.

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