New Jersey police can use cannabis
New Jersey police can use cannabis

You Can Now Smoke Weed with Cops in New Jersey as Long as They Are Off-Duty

Off-Duty police can now enjoy cannabis like the rest of us!

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Friday Apr 29, 2022

New Jersey cops can use cannabis

No tolerance during work hours, but no-holds-barred off-duty!

The AG recently gave the green light to eliminate laws that bar police officers from using cannabis during and outside work hours. The latest memo explicitly commands that the police chief make no move to punish officers who have a habit of using cannabis during their off-hours.

However, officers are still barred from using cannabis while they're on the clock, and this part of the law won't be changing anytime soon. New Jersey cops will now be considered the lucky few because of the latest amendments in the law enforcement policies. And all it took was an acting Attorney General with progressive plans.


Positive Marijuana Urine Tests

At least five years ago, a positive marijuana urine test at the workplace resulted in a series of adverse actions from the employer. Today, the corporate world has begun to adopt marijuana policies. For most companies now, penalties only apply if the worker partakes in their smoking habit during work hours.

The new policy spearheaded by Mathew Platkin, New Jersey's acting attorney general, discloses that positive urine marijuana tests will cease to be a cause for employment termination. Officers and police chiefs can now indulge in their marijuana-derived drugs without fear of firing.

According to, the state continues to have zero tolerance for marijuana intoxication, use, and even possession during work hours. A law enforcement officer's duty is extremely sensitive, and they require all their cognitive abilities to be in perfect shape at all times. This is reason alone for the state to reiterate that it will not condone cannabis use during work hours.

Acting Attorney General Platkin emphasized that officers have the right to do whatever they want during their off-hours, as long as they're legally adults (21 and above). Off duty, officers are advised only to consume legal cannabis in reasonable quantities.


New Jersey's recreational cannabis programs

New Jersey approved its recreational cannabis legislation almost a year ago. Since it was approved and signed into law, the government and the regulatory body in charge have been working tirelessly to prepare the state for legal cannabis marketing. The outcome of these efforts will be revealed in a few days when six medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to begin selling adult-use cannabis to all residents aged 21 and up.

It may seem like it's all changing too soon, but these have been in the works for a long time. As of now, more than ten medical cannabis dispensaries have received licenses or approval to sell recreational cannabis products to all adults, irrespective of their medical health status. The state keeps preaching to workers and regular residents to regulate their marijuana consumption.


Drug Use On The Job Remains A No-No!

The state's new cannabis policies ensure that employers retain the right to insist on a drug-free workplace during work hours especially. Employers can continue with their regular procedure of dealing with suspected drug use on or off the work premises, as long as it is not during work hours.

Platkin's report mentions that all officers suspected of being intoxicated or possessing recreational cannabis during work hours may be required to undergo drug tests. The drug tests, in this case, would involve a series of exams to check for the presence of THC in the officer's system. However, one can't help but wonder how the agency would be able to decipher between officers who used it recently and those who used it weeks ago. The psychoactive ingredient THC can remain in the bloodstream for months.


The public's view on this

Seeing as this latest change in law enforcement cannabis use policies affects everyone in the state, Police1 did the next best thing to seek the public's view. Police1 reported that the results from the poll show that a significant number of residents find the new law disturbing.

A few poll results pointed out that long-term cannabis use has a series of debilitating effects on the users. In other words, permitting officers to use cannabis could put them off their A-game.

Police officers are a vital part of society, and they can be called to work even on off-days for emergencies. For example, there are times when officers find themselves observing criminal activities off the clock. So what happens when officers who ought to be mentally in check at all times are intoxicated during life-ending emergencies?


A group of people thinks the acting AG failed to think this through. In all honesty, being high, even off the clock, could be catastrophic. It is important to note that some of the poll's respondents believe the new laws are not out of place.


Compared to other states

Other states, including New York, have not made any changes to their existing cannabis use laws for law enforcement agencies. It is totally prohibited for any member of the New York Police Department (NYPD), whether uniform or civilian, to use any form of recreational cannabis. A few days after marijuana was legalized in the state in 2021, a memo was distributed to let workers know that the new changes had nothing to do with them. Federal laws still classify cannabis possession, use, and cultivation as federal offenses.


Bottom Line

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin's decision to allow officers still on active duty to retain their rights to smoke weed during off-hours is a really dicey one. The new policy could have vast repercussions on the whole system. And it may reduce the individual productivity of individuals, departments, and the profession itself in the coming months.

Seeing as THC can remain in the system for up to 90 days, it won't be surprising if any action or decision made by an officer is questioned. The AG might have good intentions at heart, but the truth is that there are endless ways for this newfound right to backfire against the department. From now on, the New Jersey Police Department will be under a lot of scrutiny from within and outside forces to ascertain that the new directive is in the interest of public safety.



the police can use cannabis when off duty in NJ





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