ACLU of New Jersey Campaign Strategist Ami Kachalia today released the following statement as Governor Murphy issued a conditional veto of S3954/A5610, a bill that would have reinstated fines for youth alcohol possession, that was accepted by the New Jersey Legislature:   

“We are grateful that Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature heeded the call of youth justice advocates across the state and stopped the reinstatement of fines and criminal penalties for youth alcohol possession, which would have disproportionately harmed low-income, Black, and Latinx youth. Our concerns about S3954/A5610 eroding protections against police misconduct toward youth remain. Instead of pursuing punitive approaches to substance use, we encourage New Jersey lawmakers to invest in evidence-based public health responses that better protect the health and safety of youth and their families.”