The sale of recreational marijuana began just over a week ago in New Jersey and already public officials are facing issues, including whether law enforcement officers and other crucial employees should be allowed to smoke or use weed on their own time.
The confusion started two weeks ago when the state’s top law enforcement official warned local police chiefs that they could face lawsuits for punishing cops for off-duty marijuana use under the current state law.
In a memo sent April 13, acting state Attorney General Matthew Platkin reminded police chiefs and directors about the details of the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law. Departments “may not take any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty,” he wrote. Murphy signed the law after voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 2020 allowing the regulated sale of cannabis products to people 21 and older.
But the state’s association of police chiefs and some big-city mayors balked, arguing there should be an exemption for law enforcement officers, especially because there is no reliable way to test if someone is under the influence of marijuana on the job. [Read more at NJ.com]