New Jersey Libertarian Party

The Party of Principle

Libertarians take to the street to oppose unfair “loitering” laws

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MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Party Chair, Jay Edgar at (848)525-0578

CAMDEN: On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at 2 p.m., members of the New Jersey Libertarian Party will assemble at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden to urge citizens to oppose New Jersey’s drug and prostitution “loitering” laws.

“Unfortunately, one does not have to actually buy or sell illegal drugs to be arrested under New Jersey’s drug laws,” said NJLP Chairman Jay Edgar. “Camden Police strictly enforce state ‘loitering’ laws1 that make it illegal for people to ‘remain or prowl’ in public places and conduct themselves in a manner that might lead police to believe that they’re trying ‘to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance’ or ‘engage in prostitution’."

“One of the things that might lead an officer to believe that these "loitering" laws are being violated is repeatedly stopping pedestrians in a public place and speaking with them,” said Edgar. “Ironically, we could be violating these laws by urging people to oppose them.”

“These laws show how far the government has taken its misguided wars on drugs and prostitution,” he said.

The New Jersey Libertarian Party's Preempted Ordinance Project has successfully had local loitering ordinances repealed in over 30 towns. See http://njlp.org/loitering. Local loitering ordinances have been illegal in NJ since 1979, however the drug and prostitution loitering laws were codified into state law in 1991. Repealing these laws, or at least curtailing their abuse, is a special challenge for the New Jersey Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party bold enough to take a stand against “crimes” with no victims. In fact, our party's platform calls for "the repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, possession, or use of alcohol, drugs and drug 'paraphernalia' by adults" and for "repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations involving adults." See http://njlp.org/partyinfo/platform


1 The full text of both of these "loitering" laws is on-line at http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2010277dM//LoiteringD.pdf and http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2010277dM//LoiteringP.pdf

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