But marijuana remains classified as a Schedule 1 prohibited drug under federal law. Because of that and because there is no way to determine in the field whether someone is impaired by marijuana, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy say it should be banned for law enforcement.
"Marijuana when consumed stays in your system for 30 days," said John P. Kelly, director of the board of commissioners, "and there are no field tests to determine the level of marijuana intoxication."
In a memo to police chiefs and local, county and state officials, acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin noted that New Jersey police departments "may not take any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty."
Police departments also can't fire or refuse to onboard employees simply due to the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in an officer's body fluids, Platkin said.
But Kelly said that because marijuana is still classified as illegal under federal law, any agency that allows its officers to use the drug could be ineligible to receive certain federal grants.