Sawyer opposes AG on recreational marijuana use for law enforcement

Sawyer opposes AG on recreational marijuana use for law enforcement

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer is questioning the decision by the state attorney general to allow law enforcement personnel to get high on their personal time.

The April 13 memo from acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin to law enforcement chief executives stresses that employees cannot be disciplined for consuming legally purchased recreational marijuana off duty under the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in February 2021.

Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level. It is classified as a Schedule I substance in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

“Anyone who wants to work in public safety must be held to higher standards,” Sawyer (R-Gloucester) said. “Our men and women in law enforcement have the responsibility to make life-altering decisions on a daily basis, for themselves, their partners, for the public. I want to trust that they are at their best when doing so. The attorney general’s directive on CREAMMA leaves much to be desired.”

Platkin’s memo further states that employers will continue to retain the right to a drug-free workplace. Employees cannot report to work intoxicated or in possession of controlled substances, neither can they use marijuana while on duty.

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in both Colorado and California for years. However, Colorado Springs police are prohibited from using marijuana. Agencies in California can develop their own marijuana use policies, but most departments frown upon its use and may refuse to hire recruits based on marijuana usage.

“The Attorney General’s memo assures us the State Police will update their drug testing policy soon. What good will this do when there is no reliable test, no reliable measure of what constitutes marijuana intoxication?” Sawyer questioned. “We count on our police officers and troopers to be clear-thinking, engaged, and responsible. Marijuana use does not promote any of those things.”