Recreational marijuana has been legal in New Jersey for less than a month, but lawmakers say some changes need to be made to proceed safely.
A bipartisan effort is underway to scrap a provision that wouldn't allow law enforcement to contact the parents of minors who were caught for the first time with marijuana or alcohol. A new bill would require police to send written notice to parents or guardians after their child's first offense.
It's getting support from Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature and Assembly.
State Sen. Mike Doherty, who represents parts of Warren and Hunterdon counties, said it will likely pass.
"It looks like there's enough pushback by the public that it will be amended, and it will be a good thing, to make it OK for police to notify parents that their underage child is engaging in illegal activities," Doherty said.
"Could you imagine as a parent getting a phone call from authorities that your child has been caught for the second or third time with marijuana or alcohol? The natural response is 'why didn't I get a call the first time?' Parents have a right to know the first time," said Gabriella Razzano, project coordinator for LEAD Phillipsburg, a drug-free community coalition run out of the Firth Youth Center.
Razzano said research shows 50% of local high school students don't think using marijuana is risky, a number higher than the national average. Governor Phil Murphy, who campaigned on the promise of legalizing marijuana in the state, said during a briefing last week that amending the law to notify parents is a step in the right direction.