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New Jersey AG says cops can legally smoke marijuana

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A memo issued Wednesday by Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin advised law enforcement agencies in New Jersey that legislation passed to legalize cannabis last year allows adults, including police officers, to buy and consume cannabis.

Platkin wrote in his memo that state law enforcement agencies “shall not take any adverse action against any of the officers because they are using or not using cannabis off duty.” The acting attorney general added that the right of police officers to use the pot is in accordance with the Market Modernization, Enforcement Assistance Act, and the New Jersey Market Modernization Act passed by state lawmakers last year. He also indicated that police officers may not use cannabis while at work or be under the influence of cannabis while at work.

“To be clear, cannabis use, possession, or poisoning should never be tolerated while performing the duties of a law enforcement officer,” Platkin Books In the note he received Asbury Park Press. “And the unregulated consumption of marijuana by officers at any time, on or off duty, while on duty in this state must be zero-tolerated. The safety of our communities and our officers requires nothing less.”

Brian Vicente, co-founder of cannabis law firm Vicente Cederberg, said Platkin’s memo is in line with the legal standard of equal protection for all.

Vicente wrote in an email to High Times. “Those who choose to consume cannabis responsibly outside of work should be treated the same as those who choose to consume alcohol outside of work.”

The New Jersey Cannabis Legalization Act includes provisions that allow employers to maintain a drug-free workplace for their employees. The legislation also sets out procedures that employers must follow if an employee is suspected of using cannabis while at work or being under the influence in the workplace. Platkin reminded law enforcement officials that the police have the same rights as others under the law.

“If an officer is reasonably suspected of using cannabis in the performance of his duties, or when any noticeable signs of intoxication are found in connection with cannabis use (including following a work-related incident under investigation by the agency), the officer may be required to undergo a test. drugs,” he wrote.

However, drug testing should also include a physical examination to confirm toxicity because THC metabolites can be detected weeks after a person has taken cannabis, making a positive drug test an unreliable indicator of weakness.

Critics fear cops are high on patrol

But critics have already come out against the idea of ​​cops using weed, even off the job. State Assembly Representative Beth Sawyer said she was concerned the policy could cause police officers to work while using cannabis.

“Anyone who wants to work in the field of public safety must be held to higher standards,” Sawyer said The New Jersey Monitor. “Our men and women in law enforcement have a responsibility to make life-changing decisions on a daily basis, for themselves, their partners, and the public. I want to trust that they are at their best in doing so.”

Signed by Governor Phil Murphy The New Jersey Regulatory Act, Enforcement Assistance, and Market Modernization in New Jersey became law in February 2021. The legislation authorized the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis for adults, although legal sales of cannabis used to adults have been delayed more than once while regulators set production rules Legal and selling recreational wares.

On Thursday, Murphy announced on social media that sales of recreational pots will begin at some existing medical cannabis dispensaries next week, just a day after the infamous weed holiday 4/20.

“This is a historic step in our work to create a new cannabis industry,” Murphy Books on Twitter.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission said it will publish a list of medical dispensaries that will begin selling adult cannabis on April 21 once retailers share their plans with the agency.

“This is an exciting time for New Jersey,” CEO Jeff Brown said. “We have been deliberate and deliberate to do everything we can to put the market on a good footing to begin with.”

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