Hackettstown PD pushing political agenda
Curious if anyone saw this nonsense posted to the HPD Facebook page a little while ago?
"You need to learn about weed," it warns us, "This year, NJ voters will cast their vote for or against the legalization of recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. Get informed about the topic before casting your ballot."
Then, there are three "facts" that are just blanket statements that are meant to prove that marijuana is bad. No sources listed.
With the election less than a month away, why are the police allowed to use an official public outlet to influence voters with impartial information?
However you feel about legalizing weed... this is wrong. I can't imagine this is allowed.
I would hardly call a Facebook page an official public outlet.
As far as I know the First Amendment allows for free speech. In this instance in the form of a public service announcement.
This is absolutely abuse of their platform. I've reported it to Facebook for violating their election interference policy and I've forwarded their post to local reporters and state officials.
Hackettstown Police know that when legalization passes this November... (and it will pass, with overwhelming support) they will no longer be able to make $$big money$$ off of the frequent marijuana arrests they make. What will they do if they can't harass their residents because of the "smell of marijuana" ?? Oh well, I guess they'll have to start doing real police work and going after the heroin and fentanyl dealers that have infiltrated this town and destroyed the lives of many of our residents and teens. Maybe they'll use their new K-9 to sniff out bricks of heroin instead of the 1 gram of pot in the pocket of an otherwise innocent civilian.
This is incredibly irresponsible. This is propaganda, intended to influence the election, plain and simple. I don't care what your personal views are on recreational marijuana... whether you are for it or against it... this is dead wrong. Voters should be able to make their own informed decisions, without the influence of public officials spreading misinformation and fake news. I am disgusted!!!
Why would we want to institute a gateway drug more openly to people when we can’t even manage the devastating opioid crisis or alcoholism that is plaguing us?
Weed is not a good thing for society.
2 weeks ago
A gateway drug? Please. Everyone knows this is an antiquated scare tactic used to demonize a relatively harmless drug. I say relatively because, as with any substance, people are bound to abuse it in some way or another. (Like with alcohol, for example)
I'm not a pothead. I tried it once or twice as a teen, like most do. I wouldn't partake if it was legal - it's just not my thing. However, I full support legalization.
Eliminate the black market. Allow citizens to have the freedom of choice and bodily autonomy. Use the tax profits to improve our state's failing school systems and infrastructure. Help reduce the opioid epidemic and use of harmful drugs by making marijuana a safe, legal option for people in need of pain relief or for those suffering from anxiety and depression.
The post is a joke and the "facts" they list are anything but. Definitely propaganda and voter interference. I reported the post as well.
And to call it a gateway drug, really? Maybe watch some updated info on it rather than relying on the "facts" that reefer madness provided us...
This is using their platform as a public agency to push an agenda. Their job is to enforce the laws, not influence them.
Week after week on Facebook I see yet another post from them about a young kid sucked up into the criminal system because some Hackettstown cop decided to give them a hard time about a brake light or something. With this new law, they're worried about their revenues, that's it. It's not about keeping anyone safe.
I just really hope this catches up with them. Especially after that thin blue line stunt on Juneteenth. By the looks of the comments on their weed post, the rest of the town is fed up with their shenanigans too. About time.
Their post on Facebook is an embarrassment to those involved in posting it and to the town. This will pass and the local police and state will learn to deal with it. They will find some other low hanging fruit to pursue. But at least it will finally be legal and people won’t be blackballed from society because they choose to enjoy some weed instead of indulging in alcohol. More important fish to fry these days.
I'm curious as to the actual legal if any, protocol or precedent that states a police department can't issue a PSA about the dangers of marijuana? I understand it's on the NJ ballot this year but does it really classify as any sort of election interference?
I don't count Facebook as legitimate as their election interference policy is a farce at best in my opinion.
As has been stated they are pushing it for the loss of revenue that will incur. Guess the state saving money from prosecuting and jailing weed offence isn't good. Oh and the gateway thing has been debunked probably a decade ago. I mean what does hackettstown have as a population? 8-10k? Does it warrant a police dog?
And just like that the town Serpico’s took the post down. Admission of guilt and embarrassment
Looks like the post has been removed by Facebook for violating their election interference policy.
Next time, HPD should try educating themselves on the issue before posting misinformation weeks before an election. Absolutely shameful.
That's excellent, @MomOf6... I doubt we'll hear an apology or retraction from the police department's public information officer for that feeble attempt, but that's par for the course.
I'm glad to see it appears at least Facebook is doing more to combat election disinformation than they have in the past. That's a glimmer of hope in this whole episode.
It just genuinely concerns me how cops don't even pretend to hide their political biases anymore. Lord help the sweet town of Hackettstown.
Pro or con does not matter. It’s whether legal or not. Police as individuals had no issue. Police as public employees using public facilities/funds - hatch act violation.
But the entire organization; just not sure of how the hatch act is employed there. Doubtful this was the entire organization though.
I hope it becomes legal. I will not partake, but I do believe it is time for it to become legal.
2 weeks ago
From the Fraternal Order of Police website.
I wonder if HPD was in violation of the Hatch Act this morning? Would be interesting to see if there are any consequences to this morning's post... likely not, but I wonder.
Steve...... Don't have a dog in this fight, but you need to study your tax bill a bit more carefully and then you will see where the tax increase comes from and it's definitely not the municipal portion that's for sure.
2 weeks ago
They almost never prosecute based on the hatch act. But if it makes people pull things off the website, that’s good enough in my book.
Your six kids are lucky to have you as a mom. They will grow up to weigh all issues fairly and equally, considering all the pros and cons, and they will learn that bigger fish need to be fried before messing around with the relatively small things in life.
It’s not like it’s ever going away just as prohibition proved such a winner. Sure, alcohol has issues, so does pot. Just not bad enough to lock up any users, especially casual. Mostly a legal moneymaker at this point. Opioids - that’s another kettle of fish and frankly, the overreach has ended the greatest use, least abuse aspect - short term massive pain relief. Sure, moderate to long term use, great potential for abuse. Short term, not so much so. Think about that next time you break a toe or get a root canal. Had Drs actually suggest whiskey as an alternative.
Sorry but I see no need to legalize marijuana in New Jersey.Too much trouble with illegal drugs already. The people who use these drugs and those who sell them illegally are all criminals.Look at other states that legalized marijuana they got an influx of druggies and the trouble that follows.
2 weeks ago
Well I'm confused, aren't politicians state employees or federal for that matter. So how can they use their websites/Facebook or give speeches to support or not a subject up for vote? They all are connected to federal money.
2 weeks ago
Politicians are subject to the hatch act, most certainly. Matter of fact, it has been in the news a lot lately, no prosecutions of course. Which is not unusual since the law was passed in 1939.
Hope it does pass and maybe just maybe taxpayers will not have to continually keep getting hit in higher taxes on everything from gas to property!!! Also thank you Mom of 6, I too agree HPD shouldn't be using Facebook for their "facts/opinions".
2 weeks ago
Sorry but I see no need to legalize marijuana in New Jersey.Too much trouble with illegal drugs already. The people who use these drugs and those who sell them illegally are all criminals.Look at other states that legalized marijuana they got an influx of druggies and the trouble that follows.
Zip is a good name for you since that's what you seem to know.
Look at all the other states that have legalized marijuana. Tax surpluses, tourism dollars, court systems not bogged down with nonsense tickets for possession. I'd rather my kids smoke weed than drink alcohol and turn into a blithering fool.
We strongly encourage people to come to our town and visit the many breweries, drink and drive home. But weed is where you draw the line??
Steve, for an assessed house of 275,000, Muni taxes increased approximately 34.00. I wish our school taxes only increased that much!
2 weeks ago
Another way for someone to find a reason to bash the police. And I agree, usually the most guilty people of this and other infractions are the first to complain.
(but of course, will run hide behind the same police they bash when trouble come knocking on their door)
When exactly do you expect trouble to come knocking?
According to 2018 crime data from the FBI, Hackettstown has a crime rate 79% lower than the national average. Hackettstown's violent crime rate is 86% lower than the national average. Your chances of being a victim of a violent crime in Hackettstown is 1 in 1,906.
Furthermore, it's unbecoming of you to imply that those who keep their finger on the pulse of those who hold institutional power are potheads and criminals. If we were to follow your twisted logic of "those that complain are the most guilty," one might conclude that you are the 'trouble" that might require LEO intervention.
It's important to question authority, dear neighbor. Especially when that authority holds a monopoly on violence like the police.
Legalize all of it. Profit off of it. If you wanna use weed heavy dope or drink go for it. We're allowed to eat smoke or drink ourselves to death or to whatever extent makes one happy (drug of choice). If heroin is legal I won't do it...but I could get it if I wanted to just like anyone else. So legalize it, all of it to maximize profit...the money lost in arrests etc will be made up in sales tax. You won't make anyone a drug addict that isn't one already, but the govt can profit...maybe use some to lower property taxes? LOL probably not but it will go to some stupid special interest groups I'm sure..this is NJ
2 weeks ago
So if it passes can we assume there will be pot shops setting up all over the town or will the Vape Shops be the ones selling it. Depending on how much the States decide to tax it there may be a market for cheaper pot.
How much would the taxes need to be raised for every officer to be wearing a body cam? So much useful information from these. I would support a tax raise for this.
They get MORE than enough money from us peasants in taxes please!
2 weeks ago
Just out of curiosity
How many people who support legalized marijuna also support the covid tracing app?
Big brother just wants to help
There are so many legal sins that I would put in front of this in my list of illegality, it’s pathetic. Cigarettes still kill more than pot. Pot-related auto deaths, how many? Family abuse by pot, how much?
People paying lawyers, in jail for some joints, police wasting their valuable time arresting sleepy people, an entire criminal system established by law —- for what gain? After over 70 years of failure, no improvement, the only major risk IS the illegality, IMO, it’s time to move on.
So far not many major problems anywhere it’s legal.
Kb I am all for weed shops on Main Street if it means fewer closed storefronts.
The only reason to legalize pot is tax revenue
Not to mention
It would be illegal to grow or sell your own without a license
Bug3 - that’s not necessarily true. In Colorado people can grow a limited amount for personal use. So perhaps that will be the case here.
I am strictly talking what NJ wants to do
As a newly moved to Colorado resident, who spent the last 30 odd years in the Hackettstown area. I can assure you that legalized weed is not a big deal. Acquiring weed in NJ was never a big deal, I first bought some in 1977 and last bought some in 2019. The only serious consequences were getting caught with weed. As to the gateway nonsense, the real gateway is beer. BTW I drink beer and scotch too, but as with weed in moderation. I hope the ballot issue also deals with the thousands of folks, many of whom were just poor brown folks, who are incarcerated for weed. Getting them out of the jails, prisons and eliminating the institutional overhead will save the taxpayers almost as much as the revenue from the sales.
Fairly sure it does not make you any stupider than other things in life. I have a had a relatively solid career in software design, and find myself working with some fairly smart folks, some who imbibe and others who do not. Seen far more harm from alcohol, including addiction and death, but would never consider making it illegal.
The HPD effort to influence the vote, was inappropriate. The 1st amendment does not apply to government institutions, especially wrt topics on the ballot.
The only reason to legalize pot is tax revenue"
IMO, it's more about a century-old system that persecutes and penalizes innocents who do little to no harm. Even worse since the "war on drugs." Our lawyers line their pockets for little social value, we pay the courts and the jails to prosecute and house these offenders of what?, and then we take people out of the economy while we pay and pay and pay. Not to mention the pain and suffering for lives changed for a few joints. Sometimes changed for life, and usually not for the better. I have not met too many "reformed" pot criminals. Not by the courts and jails at least.
Sure, I think the tax revenue is great: I love a good sin tax even in front of a good luxury tax. But I think more important is the money the economy is losing and, even more important, what we are losing it on: cartels, guns, murder, police, etc.
In Amsterdam, the initial problem they had was parking, Each weekend, the Germans would flood the area and the locals could find a place to put the car. They ordered a police crack down on the miscreants but sadly discovered there weren't much misbehaving........everyone was just so darned pleasant. Germans no less.
There will be issues. Often the money is hard to count, the dispensaries hard to control, but most of that should be cured by other states by now. There is also the weird concept that, unlike alcohol, you can do this anywhere, share with anyone, much of this is holdover from the illegal days but yet a problem when people partaking in public, handing it to the underage, etc. Not to mention figuring out how to arrest someone for driving under the influence ---- not sure that one has even been attempted to be solved. There will be more people using, more ER visits cuz this is stronger stuff, not that much addiction and mental illness, but some problems in these areas too.
Still, far less than alcohol except for the public partaking/juvenile sharing part and that needs LAW and enforcement akin to our liquor laws and practices, not to mention a culture shift making pot usage mores similar to alcohol, if not more restrictive. I
I don't think weed is for everyone however I do not believe that a smelly plant should give police the right to treat you like garbage nor should it be their main focal point with substances like fentinol killing people every day.
I went back and forth with myself for awhile before deciding to comment here. I grew up in this town and graduated in the mid 80's. For myself and a great many of my classmates, I will contend that pot is most definitely a gateway drug, as we would up starting with pot, and driving into NYC for crack, cocaine, and other sources of excitement provided by drugs. While the vast majority of us survived and grew out of this, many had quite a few problems for many years if not still to this day. You are fooling yourself if you think your children will only stick with pot, there are many who will certainly experiment.If I had it to do over again, I would absolutely stay away from pot.
In my opinion, we have become a society that will do anything for money, just look at what the FDA allows food makers to do and sell in our supermarkets. It is really no surprise that the police, politicians, and legal community use pot on both sides (legal, and illegal) as a source of revenue generation is it ?
Our political leadership, both state and federal, on both sides of the aisle have fomented this, and now have successfully divided the populace on this issue as well.
Do I think pot should be criminal, no not really.
Do I think the answer is to have pot stores on Main St. and selling pot so we can profit from the taxes ? No that doesn't really thrill me either.
Ok, let the bashing begin.
Did you drink too? Cause maybe alcohol was the gateway drug, not pot.
"In most cases, drinking alcohol is not life-threatening. However, when people consume too much alcohol, it can be fatal. The CDC reports that nearly 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur each year. And binge drinking accounted for about half of these deaths.
In comparison, the number of deaths caused by marijuana is almost zero
Besides alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly detected drug in drivers involved in car accidents. One study found that marijuana increased the odds of being in car accident by 83%.
You may think that 83% is high, but when alcohol was involved, the odds of being in a car accident increased more than 2,200%!
When it comes to what substance will put someone at risk for getting hurt or hurting others, alcohol is considered to cause the most harm.
A study on marijuana use and intimate partner violence found that couples who used marijuana had lower rates of intimate partner violence in the first 9 years of marriage. In fact, men who used marijuana were the least likely to commit an act of intimate partner violence against a spouse."
IMO, if pot was magically removed from the universe, chances are cocaine, heroin, lsd, experimentation and use would remain basically unchanged.
The police stating that someone should educate themselves on marijuana but only citing negative examples shows a clear bias of opinion. It is a calculated omission of many actual facts and knowledge and assumes you would not educate yourself before voting on an issue.
2 weeks ago
Well golly dodgebaal, yup that's it, alcohol was the problem all along.
I knew it was a waste time.....
Pot is not a gateway drug itself but the politics surrounding it are. When you have one drug that’s commonly illegal yet most consider it not as bad as the other illegal ones of course people are curious to try the others. I’ve never heard anyone suggesting that alcohol leads to more varied experimentation. Why is this? Think about it. If pot had been legal forever , it would be well and truly separate from the black market. Is there something about pot that leads to other drugs? Yes, politics. The gateway theory is incredibly flawed. Nothing in pot itself makes one try other substances. Better not have a whisky at Bea McNallys. You might end up trying more dangerous things!
2 weeks ago
I’ve never heard anyone suggesting that alcohol leads to more varied experimentation.
Alcohol does not need to. Plenty of drunks crashing cars and getting sick from the stuff anyway. More police calls over alcohol than pot any day. The USA has a big problem with drinking.
Just that they might be considered more rowdy, boisterous, heartier partiers than the Dutch. Octoberfesty. Nothing terrible, sorry.
It was really the bent of the story which was written from an Amsterdam point of view.
Got some German in me actually. Think it was the part that walked all over my Czech side that was saved by the Viking side of me Irish.....
The things I hold against the Germans have little to do with a little pot smoking and nothing to do with any German American pre-1939 immigration.
I think it also depends on the relationship between kids and their parents and the individual themself. My dad put in my head from a very young age that pot makes people look and act stupid. He told me that peer pressure is not a real thing, that it's a choice without excuse. Im very close with my dad so never wanted to disappoint him hence my reason for straying away. My best friend growing up was a stoner that constantly tried to get me to try it but for fear of disappointing my father I always said no. However I wasn't bothered by her doing it because it's not like she had the urge to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. If anything it kept her confined to the house and less motivated to go out and do stuff. It never drove her to steal for money either. A sibling of mine on the other hand was rebellious from the beginning of teenage years and didn't stop with pot but has grown out of partying days. It's a tricky situation.
I'm no expert on the Hatch Act, so no clue if it applies here. Looks like it might?
Even if it didn't, I feel like the police department shouldn't be inserting itself into stuff on our ballots, not in an official capacity. I'd rather they stay out of it and not attempt to exert influence over our decision.
As for weed, I plan to vote to legalize it. Some of you might disagree, but I'm personally tired of people getting in legal trouble over something so common and harmless. Not to disrespect anyone here, but the arguments against it are very old and tired. We should focus our energy and law enforcement on other things.
Alcohol is way worse and no one wants that made illegal, do they? So why should weed be illegal?
Even if weed is legalized, you can't be driving around high or smoking it while operating a vehicle just like you can't drive with alcohol or it in your system beyond a certain limit. So the revenue for the police and town isn't going anywhere.
Oh please. If you are really worried about a "gateway drug" you'd be calling for the abolition of alcohol. I've never heard of a drug user who didn't start on alcohol - or cigarettes for that matter. But you'd never go after those, I'm sure. LOL.
It's really not the government's place to tell any of us what we can and can't put into our bodies. If someone drives impaired, that should be addressed. Put them in jail for that. Not for smoking or using something in the privacy of one's own home.
Yeah, I’m sure the Hackettstown police already have the breathalyzers needed for detecting THC. I think they were only invented at the end of 2019, I’m sure that one will hold up in court.
I indicated before that is one of the problems. Detecting it while driving for duo’s. And what level is UI?
Stranger danger, I am a medical marijuana patient and when you are accepted into the program and given your orientation it is hammered into your head that any driving after use is impairment and even microdosing needs 1-2 hours before you even consider driving. If you need to medicate and you’re not home, you can sit in your car to do so but the keys cannot be in the ignition or it is a DUI same as being drunk in your parked car.
I haven’t wanted to post something personal like this on this forum, but as the election approaches I think it’s important for people to have as many facts as possible, especially if they don’t know anyone on the program.
It will be legalized, it's already everywhere. It will now just be easier and guilt free to get. As is should be in America. As it already is. Remember keeping it illegal doesn't make it go away. Amazing the amount of hypocritical boozer. Most likely Boomers.
Actually pot was made illegal less than 100 years ago
Point I was trying to make is: how can they tell? The units to detect were only invented, I think, at the end of 2019, and not sure how valid in court they would be.
Plus, what THC level constitutes a DUI in NJ?
I am not saying driving while puffing is a good idea, or safe, but technically the law is vague, the testing difficult, it's a problem that most states are wrestling with.
A Colorado view: https://www.shouselaw.com/co/dui/laws/dui-of-marijuana/
Sorry Steve the “Boomers” as you call them, were smoking pot probably before you were even born. LOL
Except now they want to keep it illegal. Example the Federal Government. Filled with Boomers
SD - unpopular opinion maybe, but I don’t think there needs to be a new type of test. Impairment can be determined through the same field tests as driving drunk. Someone who is too impaired to drive on any substance - prescription meds, opiates, alcohol, or marijuana - will not be able to complete a field test like answering rapid-fire questions, walking straight, following directions, etc. There is no breathalyzer style test for driving on opiates either but our current system seems able to catch and prosecute these individuals all the time.
I have my medical card and I love being able to walk around my neighborhood and on the street with a joint in hand. As long as I have my card and my prescription on me, no one can do a dang thing about it.
Much safer than cigarettes/alcohol and have never once considered dabbling in any illicit drugs - so there goes your "gateway drug" theory. In fact, whenever I drink alcohol I get tempted to smoke a cigarette, whereas with cannabis all I want to do is relax and eat a nice meal.
BTW, I've been working in corporate America for years now and using cannabis has never affected my professional life.
DHeavy while I am for marijuana being legal for many reasons, I think walking around your neighborhood smoking a joint will not be. I wonder if it is now even with a medical card. States that have legalized it have similar laws in place with regards to consumption in public places. There are even some apartment/condo complexes that do not allow it. That being said you are allowed to do whatever you want on your own property as long as you own your home or rent from someone who allows it.
Actually, the program enables the use of medical cannabis wherever tobacco/e-cigarette smoking is permitted. You cannot smoke tobacco in the below places either (except for in a moving vehicle).
“Patients may not smoke medicinal marijuana in a school bus, on public transportation, or in a private vehicle while in motion. Additionally, patients may not smoke medicinal marijuana on any school grounds or at any correctional facility, public park, beach, recreation center, or other place where smoking is prohibited.”
Sidewalks and residential streets are within legal parameters.
As a medical card holder I can confirm that we are allowed to consume walking down Main St if we want to - personally I wouldn’t enjoy being hassled every two feet and having to disclose my medical status to everyone I pass. However it is allowed anywhere cigarettes can be consumed, except in a moving vehicle. Every apartment complex in town allows cigarette smoking (I’ve called all of them and live in one) and therefore allows medical marijuana consumption. When the recreational law passes, towns should be able to put their own regulations on where you can consume (likely in your home only - apartments will have to rewrite their bylaws accordingly) but these new regulations would apply to recreational use, not medical.
Trixie & Kat - thanks for the clarification. I’m sure when recreational use becomes legal all the laws will change.
IMO, i it should change for medical use too. That just seems wrong to me to make police check for medical cards just because someone’s arrogant enough to flaunt it and smoke on a city street. And I support legalization, not decriminalized, but legal. But I would not support legal in public, just make it the same as alcohol laws.
I wonder? Can you shoot up meds in public?
Has anybody noticed they are slowly inching towards outlawing tobacco ( smoke issues) yet they want to legalize something that is even worse smoke wise( 2nd hand high)
If you have a medical marijana card, does your doctor test you every so often to make sure you are actually smoking the stuff and not just obtaining then selling it?
2 weeks ago
Question mark - they do not. Medical marijuana costs several times street value, is taxed at a very high rate, and obtaining your card is a costly and invasive process. An arrangement like you suggest would not make any sense.
Questionmark, no but you’re permitted a certain allotment over a period of time. It’s all tracked in various databases, in dispensaries and I believe in police systems as well. So it’s tricky to buy non-medicinal marijuana and claim it as medical if you are stopped by the police - they can look at your prescription and the packaging it comes in to see the weight.
Strangerdanger, you have to understand that those with medical cards didn’t go through the annoyance of the process to get a card just to light up and get high. This is our medicine, and if we have to use it in public to medicate, then that’s what we have to do. I personally wouldn’t walk around Main St either. To me it simply sounded like DHeavy walks around the block in his neighborhood to get out of the house. Doesn’t sound like he’s arrogantly flaunting it as you implied.
Bug3, cigarettes are way more hazardous to your health given the chemicals in them. Nicotine is an addictive substance and tar is terrible for your lungs. Yes, inhaling any form of smoke is bad for your lungs, but marijuana is all natural.
Sorry to offend Trixie, my point was if "somebody" was arrogant enough to be flaunting it, basically just causing police to waste their time, get a rise, perhaps add some amount of risk. Frankly, DHeavy may not be that guy, but sure sounds close....
As far as taking medicine in public, IMO, it's probably best not done if you can avoid it. I don't shoot up in public, don't pop pills, or even slug down cough medicine in public -- all legal I think. Since reefer smells like reefer, IF I was medically so induced, I would do my best to keep it as private as possible, including the smell. Call me shy, but really that's about it. Not big on PDA's either and they aren't illegal either.
As to the reselling, in addition to it being a very lengthy process to obtain a card for medical reasons, it is a very expensive one. I do not know anyone willing to give up their own medicinal benefits to resell on the streets. Not only will you lose your card indefinitely, there are the legal ramifications too.
"This year, NJ voters will cast their vote for or against the legalization of recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. Get informed about the topic before casting your ballot."
Just to clarify, the ballot question is a vote to add this to the state *Constitution*, as an amendment, not whether or not to legalize it. AFAIK the legislature can legalize recreational marijuana the same way they create other laws, without amending the state Constitution. So my question is why the amendment?
It's possible I'm not understanding something currently in the state Constitution that forbids the legislature from passing legislation to get this done. Any idea what that might be?
Governor Murphy made a campaign promise to legalize , but it failed to pass the state legislature so they are leaving it up to the voters to decide .
From Ballotpedia ;
On December 16, 2019, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a resolution placing the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Most legislative Democrats (72 of 79) supported the resolution, and most legislative Republicans (36 of 41) opposed the resolution.
Question 1 is the first legalization measure that a state legislature has referred to voters. In Illinois and Vermont, the state legislatures passed bills to legalize marijuana. The other nine states (and D.C.) that have legalized marijuana did so through the ballot initiative process, in which campaigns collected signatures to place their issues before voters. There is no initiative process in New Jersey.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) and Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-22) introduced the resolution after the legislature failed to pass a statute to legalize marijuana. Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who was elected in 2017, campaigned on marijuana legalization. Sweeney said his goal was to get a marijuana legalization bill passed within 100 days of Murphy's term. On November 18, 2019, Sweeney and Scutari issued a joint statement, saying, "... we recognize that the votes just aren’t there. We respect the positions taken by legislators on what is an issue of conscience." The co-sponsors said they were confident that legislators would pass a constitutional amendment instead, which would leave legalization up to voters. Gov. Murphy said that while he preferred legislation over a ballot measure, he had "faith that the people of New Jersey will put us on the right side of history when they vote next November."
Text of measure
Good question JIT. Appears procedural although alcohol prohibition and repeal are there too.
Procedural in that legislation has failed; the politicians have spoken, and not sure it’s a majority ir super majority vote needed.
So, the next ploy is to skip the politicians and leave it to the voters and make it Constitutional. Amazingly, it includes a standard sales tax plus a 2% local kicker which seems like a real deal to me.
Good question; I have the same one for balanced budget amendment which is Constitutional. Can you imagine if we all budgeted our homes the same way. We’d all be renters :-)
But think that’s you answer; leave the question to the voters, alcohol is the precedent, prohibition set the stage, politicians not listening to the voters (I presume the outcome here) forced the play.
Justin time the legislation has failed to get through, first because it was blocked by Christie, and more recently because of a faction of Democrat representatives who will not budge on the issue. Murphy moved to put it on the ballot because polling suggested that those representatives’ stances didn’t accurately reflect the will of the people on the issue.
Wow... so, I've noticed several other police departments around the state have posted to Facebook the *same* identical post regarding marijuana as the boogeyman. Looks like it was put out by the New Jersey Association of Police Chiefs.
Check out what happens when you search the first sentence of this post on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=You%20need%20to%20learn%20about%20weed
Guys, this appears to be a coordinated effort to interfere with this ballot question. The underlying question is, who is pulling the strings? We need to dig deeper.
Free speech, no?
Teacher’s Union stakes out positions all the time.
They wear a badge so they forfeit their voice?
Free speech doesn't mean there are no repercussions for that speech.
Go yell fire in a movie theater or restaurant and watch what happens.
Is that what the Hackettstown Police Dept did?
Geez— musta missed that.
Save the drama for your ....
A teachers Union is a Union, not tax paid teachers using public resources to promote political ideologies.
A Police Department is a publicly paid group of individuals using taxpayer financed public resources to promote private political ideologies. It is not a Union although members may belong to a Union.
Hatch Act. 1939.
Using “public resources ” to post on Facebook?
And, pray tell, how much was that expenditure?
Don’t like the message, kill the messenger?
Of they posted it under their Local Facebook page that would be the same as the NJEA.
I’m sorry guys, but you are arguing with me and not the Hatch Act.
There is an article authored by the FOP on the very subject.
The fact that Facebook is free does not mean there is not value. Are there ads, banners, n such? Does Facebook make money? Did the Union load it or public servants in their off hours or on duty?
The NJEA is a Union Page: The HHS web page is a public resource even if the web page is free.
I think the fact that this is a public resource, loaded by on duty public servants, used to express public information, suggesting how the oublic should vote outs it in jeopardy.
But I am no expert, the Hatch Act is primarily Federal or federally financed organizations, many members, like the Pres, CP, mayors have exemptions and as I have said in almost every instance; no one gets prosecuted rarely, it’s a whatever in ny book. Just an idea why they may have pulled it and why others may still have it up.
Or maybe they just got a great haul of Panama Ref and changed their expanded minds. I understand altered state employees are exempt too :-)
Or just ask them why they placed it and then pulled it. There’s a concept. But please, if you want to argue with me still; read the FOP piece about the Hatch Act. It’s free too.
No arguments .
Just don’t see the issue.
Recent history indicates that the Hatch Act has been voided.
Not just recent history, all history apparently. Think it's a Pirates of the Caribbean type of law: more like a guideline than enforced law.
But can see why it's better taken down than loaded up IMO ---- one might even take it as advertising in favor of illegality just to drum up easy business to keep policing profitable and create greater full-time employment. Sure, a wacky stretch, but that's why police probably better off staying out of politics and opinion and much of these "marijuana facts" suffer from being more Op Ed than science.
As far as Police Unions, like the largest, the FOP, have at it: it's your right. And there's a site for that: https://fop.net/ However, they have some posts but no general statement. As far as the NJ FOP, I see no info regarding this ballot question and as far as endorsements: well, I won't make you mad by listing them, but trust me, pretty sure how they roll on this question in question. As in: this statement did not come from the NJ FOP Union. Chances are.
Police often state that there are too many guns on the street.
Also, that “military style weapons” present a threat to them as well as society.
Are these political statements?
Are our Finest out of bounds by airing there opinions?
Are they prohibited from commenting?
If it is, as you say, improper for HPD to share their view on pot use because they are taxpayer funded, why is it then acceptable for politicians such as governor Murphy, also taxpayer funded to offer their pro pot opinion as we have seen?
Part of a governor's job is to set an agenda, and therefore his opinion on a given issue is, necessarily, relevant. The job of the police is to enforce laws, which they should do as impartially as possible. Any opinions they may have about those laws are, necessarily, irrelevant.
I do not believe that marijuana has yet been legalized.
Therefore it is not a law the Police may be commenting on.
And if it were, they remain our neighbors with voices just as legitimate as yours or mine to be heard.
Again Stymie; individuals yes. Public employees and elected officials using public resources is a different story. The HA has many exemptions, rarely enforced, and mY not come into pkay here. Read the FOP paper on it, it’s google-able. Ask the PD why they pulled.
Wr understand your opinion is it’s OK. OK. Got it. Sure. Fine.
Monty, The PD commented on an issuer for which they have an interest due to public safety. I remember a local PD officer who was the DARE representative and spoke at my daughter’s school about the dangers of drugs, including pot. That, too was a public statement by the PD that was appropriate. The comments made recently by HPD were similar to the DARE program, also in the interest of public safety. Think about it, is it really an issue with HPD commenting that you have a problem with or rather the anti-pot content of their message? Should be no problem with folks commenting one way or another. Discussion is good for a healthy community and country.
The issue is the subject is a current ballot question regarding Marijuana. The timing of the PSA is dubious. Otherwise the DARE and other outreach programs and statements regarding the dangers of drug use is appropriate.
Well, they’re the ones that use the “Jaws of Life” to extricate many involved in Drunk Driving episodes.
Why not let the have their say in the legalization issue.
They’ll be doing the same thing with stoned out driver episodes.
Didn’t realize that wearing a badge required you to check your Civil Rights at the door.
Greg, We might be splitting hairs here. It is the responsibility of the PD to protect public safety. That being said, it matters not whether there is an initiative on the ballot or a recommendation from the governor. If the PD believe there is a potential public safety concern, they are within their right to speak out about it. Citizens are free to vote as they wish and I’ll go out on a limb here and say I doubt those in favor of legalization will change their minds based on the HPD post. Also, keep in mind this is only a referendum and approval by voters does not guarantee passage by the legislature.
"Think about it, is it really an issue with HPD commenting that you have a problem with or rather the anti-pot content of their message?"
I never said I have an issue with it, and in fact I don't especially care one way or the other in this particular instance. But your question was "what's the difference?" and I offered an answer. And I stand by it.
No problem Monty. You are entitled to your opinion as is everyone else. It’s okay to disagree. Robust discussion is healthy.
"It is the responsibility of the PD to protect public safety."
BC - it's not the job of the police to dictate what we put into our bodies unless it puts others at risk (e.g. driving). It's a question of health, not law enforcement.
Also, the same argument could be made about law enforcement agencies making other political statements or endorsements out of concern for "public safety," like say... a border wall, a mask mandate, I could go on.
Bottom line is, our duly elected leaders have put this measure on the ballot for the people to decide. For the police to use their official platform to sway the vote is an abuse of that platform and deserves our full-throated condemnation.
Draco, One of the main responsibilities of the PD is public safety. Each of the examples you listed are public safety issues. The only exception is a public mask mandate, which does not currently exist. There are mask mandates for certain venues such as in stores and those are enforced by store management not the PD. The HPD post was a public safety message and is not deserved of condemnation. Like I previously stated, I doubt any pro-pot supporters were swayed by it. Folks are free to vote as they please.
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