New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin has pushed cannabis justice forward by allowing police to consume weed and easing issues for some with legal problems.
The NJ Supreme Court decided that the cannabis legalization referendum implementation law, the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA), tops a ban and helps those with weed convictions. Platkin’s win before the Supreme Court definitely furthers cannabis justice.
Cannabis Justice Progress Being Made
Certain individuals who complete a diversionary program were previously prevented from getting into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program. PTI allows individuals to avoid jail time by completing the program, which usually involves staying sober and community service.
Platkin argued the State’s position that the legislature had planned to allow such individuals a clean slate.
Thus the NJ Supreme Court set a new precedent erasing a decision by a lower court that thought the legislature should have specified this particular issue and did not allow certain individuals into PTI.
“I am thrilled that the Court today rightly recognized the monumental nature of our State’s marijuana reforms, which not only made cannabis legal going forward. But made sure that individuals who were previously charged with marijuana offenses had their slates wiped clean,” Platkin said.
“I was honored to argue this case given the importance of this issue. I am grateful today’s decision reflects the clear intent of Governor Murphy and also the Legislature in enacting these reforms,” he added.
Can Cops Smoke Weed In NJ?
Yes, according to newly issued guidance, police are OK smoking weed while off of duty in New Jersey. NJ Attorney General Platkin also recently issued guidance in February 2023. The prior guidance revised how police departments should be more lenient toward cannabis consumption.
“Due to the complex nature of the law, and in order to provide uniformity in State employee drug testing as it pertains to the use of cannabis, it is necessary to revise this policy,” the guidance read.
“The goal of the policy is deterring illegal drug use, including unregulated marijuana, by law enforcement officers. The policy provides law enforcement agencies with a mechanism to identify and remove those law enforcement officers engaged in the illegal use of drugs.”
State-legal dispensary cannabis use is a different story.
Updated State Guidance For Police Cannabis Use
The new memo explains police should only be tested for pot use if suspected of being high on duty. They may also be tested if assigned to a federal task force or hold a federal license that requires testing like a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), or their agency is required to test due to any other federal ties.
The newly issued guidance is very strict about the consequences of failing a drug test. Many would be severely hampered in their career by losing their job. They would also be barred from holding another law enforcement position in New Jersey.
After such guidance has been issued, more New Jersey police officers should also be able to enjoy consuming cannabis while off duty. They could enjoy it like a beer or a shot. Police are known to do so.
Law enforcement officers will still be tested for:
Police smoking weed is very controversial.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who favors a very progressive pot legalization implementation, is against law enforcement smoking pot, even if when they are not on duty.
Police have stressful jobs. Along with dealing with legitimate crime and threats, they must address gaps in the social safety net, like mentally disturbed people causing problems. They also have to deal with problems that don’t involve guns, like noise complaints.
Thus, they would probably benefit greatly from using cannabis.