Specifically, the new legislation would make underage possession or consumption of alcohol or marijuana subject to a written warning on the first violation. Second violations would carry a written warning as well, along with information for those 18 and older about community services, including counseling. Those under 18 would also get a written warning, along with their parents or guardians being notified. Third violations carry similar consequences, but with a written referral — instead of just information — for community services.
The legislation also removes authority from towns to enact ordinances with civil penalties or fines concerning underage possession or consumption violations on private property, among other measures.
It also increases the liability for suppliers of cannabis items to underage people by making a third or subsequent violation a petty disorderly persons offense. Currently, underage drinking is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.