County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2021

Commissioner Director Arnone issues statement calling on New Jersey County Commissioners to urge legislators to revise A5342

FREEHOLD, NJ – On behalf of the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone issued the following statement calling on New Jersey Boards of County Commissioners to urge legislators to repeal or revise Assembly Bill A5342, which was signed into law on Monday, Feb. 22:

I truly believe that all of the legislators that voted on Assembly Bill 5342 did not know that there was a component in the legislation that would prohibit law enforcement from notifying parents if a minor is found in possession of or using marijuana and alcohol for the first offense.

By passing this new law, the Legislature is sweeping aside the judgment of parents over the lives of their children; and is tying law enforcement’s hands with respect to keeping kids and communities safe.

While I find it truly disturbing and discouraging that legislation with such serious implications for law enforcement officers and families was passed with little to no discussion, it is more important now for them to fix their mistake.

We understand that our legislators are revisiting this legislation and there are discussions to introduce legislation to repeal A5342. I am glad to see our concerns are being addressed and that there are going to be steps taken to rectify this detrimental error in judgement.

But now we need to keep the pressure on. There are many bills that get introduced and do not go anywhere. We need to make sure that action is taken—and taken quickly.

That is why I am encouraging all of the other Boards of County Commissioners in New Jersey to do what’s right and push our legislators to pass legislation to repeal or revise A5342.

As I continue to stress, this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is a matter of right and wrong and a matter of allowing parents to keep their children safe.”

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