2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

E624 Newsletter


E624 VercammenLaw News
1.End of Summer Bash September 11, 2021
2. Drivers must now move over when passing people walking and on bikes
3. Marijuana and Cannabis laws Update- Great explanation from Avalon Police Dept. 
4. Help Wanted - Clerk for Law Office
1.End of Summer Bash 
Featuring: The Southern Rock All Stars inc Spider Daniels
Saturday, September 11, 2021 
  1PM – 7 PM
  Edison Elks Pool and Grove 
Cost: $20PP for Members and Guests and friends of Ken Vercammen
Sausage & Peppers 
Corn on the Cob
Water/Soft drinks 
      *Beverages available for purchase 
         Pool is open!
Food/Dessert Donations Welcome
4PM Cannon ball contest 
6:02 pm Elks recognize 911 memorial by singing National Anthem
    Edison Elks 2487
375 Old Post Road
Edison NJ 08817-4653
(732) 985-2487
         Since Bar Anticipation is not having formal Happy Hour events 2021, Ken V will have this as our Annual Summer Blast and  invites friends, clients, professionals to attend. 
2. Drivers must now move over when passing people walking and on bikes
  A long-sought goal of runners, advocates finally happened  when Gov. signed the state’s first law requiring drivers to safely pass people on bikes and pedestrians/runners who are using the roads. The law allows New Jersey to catch up to 42 other states that have safe passing laws intended to reduce collisions between cars and other road users 
The bipartisan bill is similar to the “move over law” that protects first responders on highways. It would require drivers to move over one lane when passing, if it is safe to do so, or allow four feet of space between the car and the person being passed. If that is not safe to do, it would require a driver to slow to 25 mph. [...]
The bill also covers pedestrians/runners who have no choice except to walk in rural and suburban roads where there are no sidewalks.
Drivers would face a $100 fine and no motor vehicle points for violating the law. A driver who causes bodily injury could face a $500 fine and two motor vehicle points for a violation. This is helpful to cyclists, runners and triathletes.   Source By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 
3. Marijuana and Cannabis laws Update- Great explanation from Avalon Police Dept.  
     On Feb 22, 2021 Governor  signed three laws into effect which legalized cannabis, decriminalized marijuana, and included underage possession and consumption of marijuana and alcoholic beverages.
Effective immediately 
Marijuana remains illegal to possess until regulated cannabis is introduced.
Police must seize marijuana but take no enforcement action on 6 ounces or less.
New Law limits consequences for juveniles and individuals 18-20 found in possession of marijuana AND ALCOHOL
·       For adults, 6 oz. or less is not an offense.
·       Over 6 oz. is a warning for first offense
·       For individuals under 21, under 6 oz is illegal to possess, police MUST seize it but merely provide warning.
·       Individuals under 21, found in possession of alcohol, will be issued a WARNING ONLY!
·       Individuals under 21 MUST be issued a WARNING ONLY for possession
·       Initial law signed by Governor PREVENTED police from notifying parents of juveniles found with marijuana and alcohol.
·       The odor of marijuana or alcohol no longer constitutes reasonable suspicion to investigate, or search personal property.
·       Officers SHALL NOT use the smell of marijuana, burned or raw from initiating an investigation even though it remains illegal to possess.
·       Officers SHALL NOT use observations (plain sight) as evidence to initiate a stop or conduct a search for marijuana or alcohol
·       Officers SHALL NOT ask a juvenile for consent to search for alcohol or marijuana.
·       Officers who mistakenly violate any of these provisions may be charged criminally with a third degree crime.
·       Being intoxicated by alcohol or drugs in public is NO LONGER an offense.
·       Possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle is NO LONGER an offense.
Legalization of Cannabis   Frequently Asked Questions 
In November, 2019, New Jersey voters approved a public question by a two to one margin that asked voters if they would favor a constitutional amendment legalizing a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis”. It stated only adults at least 21 years of age could use cannabis. Since approval, New Jersey lawmakers and the Governor have approved remarkable and significant legislation that legalizes cannabis and decriminalizes marijuana. The Governor and lawmakers have also removed legal consequences for juveniles and adults 18-20 for possessing marijuana and have included alcohol. The law prevents officers from using the smell or sight of marijuana or alcohol to initiate an investigation and threatens third degree criminal charges for police officers making mistakes while investigating offenses, making enforcement difficult, if not impossible.
This FAQ is presented by the Avalon Police Department to provide information to the public regarding the new law and what is enforceable, and not enforceable, by local authorities and governing bodies.
1.   Is marijuana currently legal to possess in New Jersey (other than medical)? NO. Currently, Marijuana remains illegal to possess as there is no legal, regulated form of cannabis, and are no regulated cannabis dispensaries. However, the recent legislation in New Jersey has legalized regulated cannabis, therefore when dispensaries become operational, it will be legal to possess regulated cannabis in approved quantities.
2.   Did the law include alcohol for juveniles and minors 18-20? Yes Possession of alcohol by a juvenile, or person 18-20 year of age now has little consequences. Although still technically not permitted, possession of alcohol would result in merely a warning for first, and all subsequent offenses. Police may seize the alcohol but have significant limitations while doing so.
3.   What are the consequences for adults over 21, if caught with 6 ounces or less of marijuana in public? Even though it currently remains illegal to possess, there are no consequences as it is no longer considered an offense. The marijuana will be seized and the adult would be released.
4.   What are the consequences for those 18-20, caught with 6 ounces or less of marijuana in public? Even though it currently remains illegal to possess, the only consequence is a warning for the first and all subsequent offenses.
5.   What are the consequences for juveniles under 18 caught with under 6 ounces of marijuana or Alcohol? Even though it remains illegal, the only consequence is a warning for first and all subsequent offences, and parents will be notified, if the police are able to determine parent’s identity.
6.   Is it true that police cannot inform parents of juveniles that are caught with six ounces of marijuana or alcohol? The original law signed by the Governor on February 22, 2021 made it illegal for police to inform the parents of juveniles caught with marijuana or alcohol. The law threatened third degree charges against police for doing so. In March 2021, a clean-up bill was signed into law reversing this, now making it mandatory that parents are notified by police. However, juveniles typically do not possess a legal form of Identification and may not be cooperative, therefore it will be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain parents correct information.
7.   Is it legal to possess medical cannabis? Yes If you have a legal medical marijuana card and prescribed medical cannabis from a licensed practitioner, and obtained it legally, there are no changes.
8.   Is cannabis use permissible on private property by adults? Yes. Provided that the amount is under six (6) ounces, Law enforcement has no enforcement capabilities of the use of cannabis on private property. New Jersey has decided that people can use cannabis inside their homes, or outside on private property. If police are called to a complaint of cannabis being smoked on private property, they are powerless to do anything about it. Prohibiting smoking of any substance on private property is still possible by way of lease agreement.
9.   Is cannabis use permissible on public property? It depends. Municipalities may, at their own discretion, prohibit smoking of any products on public properties that they deem necessary. That may include, but is not limited to, beaches, parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, boardwalks, etc. Per local ordinance, an adult could be issued a citation if approached by law enforcement and reminded of the smoking prohibition on public property. The violation would be a petty disorderly person’s offense.
10.     What should I do, if I observe or smell marijuana or any substance in public? Call the police. Whenever you believe a violation of law or ordinance is being committed, even if you are not positive, you should always call the police and provide as much information as possible. The police will make the determination based on legal relevant information if there is any basis for action to be taken. The police are no longer permitted to use the smell or sight of marijuana to initiate an investigation.
11.     Is it reasonable to expect law enforcement to catch everyone who smokes on public property? No, that is an impossible task. Even with additional officers assigned for the summer, there should be no reasonable expectation that everyone who elects to smoke cannabis or another smoking product on public property will be caught and provided with a citation.
12.     Is it true that police officers themselves could be charged with a crime relating to an investigation into cannabis? Yes, especially relating to juveniles and minors 18-20. If an officer sees cannabis, smells it, they are still prohibited from initiating and investigation, the officer could be charged with a third degree crime “Official depravation of Civil Rights”. If an officer investigates for an “unreasonable amount of time”, the officer would be charged with a third degree crime. The amount of time is not defined by law. Officers must activate body cameras at all times when dealing with cannabis or underage alcohol related offenses or they could be charged with a crime of tampering with a government record.
13.     Can the mere odor of marijuana provide law enforcement with a suspicion that an adult is committing an offense? No. Despite years of training and experience to the contrary, New Jersey now forbids police from using the smell of marijuana to initiate an investigation. Additionally, any possession of marijuana six ounces or less is no longer an offense. Additionally, law enforcement is prohibited from initiating a stop or a search even if they can see the cannabis in plain sight.
14.     What can the police do if someone, even a juvenile, is observed intoxicated by marijuana, alcohol or drugs in public? It depends Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is no longer an offense as per the new law. However, police are required to care for people that may be a danger to themselves or others. Ex: if a juvenile is intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, based on the new law, there is nothing police can do about it, not even notify their parents. If the intoxication can reasonably be believed to put the individual in danger, the police may intervene for the person’s safety only, through the community care or emergency aid doctrine.
15.     What are the consequences for juveniles, and those 18-21 for using, possessing marijuana, cannabis, or alcohol? A first offense results in a written warning, and notice to parents for juveniles. A second offense is a written warning and providing information on drug addiction, and notification of parents for juveniles. A third and all subsequent offenses result in a written warning and reference to a drug treatment facility, although there is no obligation on the minor to actually report to the facility.
16.     Since warnings are mandatory as per law, will the state have a warning tracking system? NO The New Jersey Attorney General has declined to produce a statewide warning tracking system. It is recognized that juveniles, and those 18-20 will seldom be cooperative, therefore a warning system would be ineffective. Therefore, it is not actually practical that the required warnings will be able to be tracked effectively.
17.     Are there prior offenses that are no longer offenses in New Jersey relating to marijuana and alcohol? Yes. Possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to dispose property, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, and being under the influence of alcohol and/or marijuana in public are no longer criminal offenses in New Jersey as per the new legislation.
18.     Is driving while intoxicated still illegal in New Jersey? YES If drivers are intoxicated from alcohol or any drug, (even those legally prescribed) they will be arrested and charged accordingly. Avalon Police officers will continue to receive specialized training to determine if drivers are impaired and will have zero tolerance for this dangerous activity.
Source https://avalonpolice.org/2021-marijuana-and-cannabis-information/
        These laws can only change on the State level. If you are concerned about the law you should direct your comments to the Governor’s office or Senators here:  https://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/.
4. HELP WANTED - Clerk for Law Office – Answer phones, schedule appointments, envelope stuffing, misc. clerk duties 
start 8:55am 1:30 flexible
   To start  September
$15.00 per hour start
-Telephone Answering
-Adding client names to computer database, open files, prepare letters, and work on client traffic ticket matters.
- Preparation of documents on Computer and mail to courts
-General Office duties in Law Office
-Update mailing/ client lists and learn marketing
-All other work needed including working on litigation cases
 A good way to learn NJ Law Office procedures
Must be dependable and committed to perfection. 
    Call Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen & Associates at 732-572-0500 if interested.
Check out our website at www.njlaws.com to see more information on our law office.