A New Jersey assemblyman who voted against locking up guns to protect children is now sponsoring a bill to force New Jersey residents to lock up any cannabis products.

The legislation from Asm. Kevin Rooney, R-Wyckoff, would require state residents to place any cannabis products in a locked container.

"If adults choose to purchase legally distributed cannabis products, that is their prerogative under the new state law," Rooney said in a statement, "But they must be held accountable to prevent these products from getting into the hands of children who could unknowingly consume unsafe amounts and cause health issues."

Rooney's measure excludes other substances that can be deadly to children, including alcohol, prescription drugs, e-cigarettes and tobacco. He admitted his bill would never have the support of Democrats who control the legislature if he did include substances other than marijuana.

No Democrat has signaled their support of Rooney's legislation.

Asked why he is singling out cannabis, Rooney told the New Jersey Globe, "Since it is new, and since it is coming in the form of gummies and brownies and cookies and things along those lines, we're not seeing parents being responsible enough at this point to lock up those dangerous substances."

While cannabis products are sold in the form of soft-chews and lozenges, New Jersey dispensaries are not allowed to sell "brownies and cookies and things along those lines."

Rooney has joined with fellow Republicans in opposing the majority of gun control bills. Last year, he voted against the Safe Storage of Firearms Act, which would require residents to unload guns and keep them secured in a locked container.

NJ Globe noted the similarities between the two laws, but Rooney explained: "In the Constitution, it speaks in the Second Amendment about the right to bear arms. I've read the Constitution many times, and there's nothing in there about the legalization of marijuana.”

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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