With dollar signs dancing in their heads, state officials across the country already have or are now considering legalizing recreational marijuana.

Virginia recently joined their ranks, though the law won’t go into effect until 2024, disappointing even the ACLU which said, “… Lawmakers pay lip service to the communities that have suffered decades of harm caused by the racist ‘War on Drugs’ with legislation that falls short of equitable reform and delays justice.”

New Jersey wanted in, too, and has come up with guidelines that minimize both police and parents. Under the bill, for instance:

  1. Police are NOT allowed to detain or arrest someone for possessing or distributing small amounts of marijuana.
  2. For those 21 and older, it is no longer a crime to be under the influence of marijuana or to possess pot paraphernalia.
  3. Police are NOT allowed to use the smell of marijuana as a reason to search a person or vehicle—and they could face criminal charges if they violate this ruling or others involving searches of people under 21.
  4. Prosecutors must now dismiss pending charges for any prior marijuana offenses that are no longer considered illegal under this new law.
  5. As for underage possession or use of marijuana or alcohol in public, a first offense gets a written warning that is NOT provided to one’s parent/guardian. Parents are only notified about a second offense. A third offense gets a referral to a drug program(s).
  6. Those under the legal age to purchase marijuana/alcohol would NOT be capable of giving lawful consent to a search and police are NOT allowed to request a search consent.
  7. Minors cannot be searched, and police no longer have probable cause to search a minor for illegally using marijuana or alcohol. Officers who violate this ruling will be charged with “deprivation of civil rights.

Says Republican state Senator Mike Testa: “Parents are hauled down to the police station if they let their 8-year-old walk to the park alone, but Democrats apparently think they shouldn’t even be notified if that same child is caught by police smoking pot or drinking alcohol.”

Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber put it this way: “Pot for tots!”

Then there’s Oregon with its first-of-a-kind legislation that decriminalizes the possession of all illegal drugs, including heroin, meth, and oxycodone. And, instead of imprisonment, addicts are offered treatment funded by the millions of tax revenue dollars from the state’s legalized marijuana industry.

Am I the only one who sees the irony in that? ~ Carol