State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Vineland, addressed the acting attorney general on the enforcement of cannabis laws as they apply to off-duty police officers. Testa stated that the use of cannabis by off-duty police officers could put New Jersey at risk of losing federal grant funding.
Platkin responded that “the [New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act] statute is remarkably specific about what employers can do to employees in terms of adverse employment action in terms of regulated cannabis off duty.”
Platkin explained that the state law applicable to employee use of legal cannabis, “N.J Stat. 24:6I-52, makes very clear that you cannot take an adverse employment action for off-duty use of cannabis. That applies to every employer in the state. There is no exemption for law enforcement.”
Platkin went on to explain the conflict with the federal law, saying “18 U.S.C. 922g does make it illegal for any unlawful drug user to possess firearms. Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, 18 U.S.C. 925(a)(1), which is in the same law, exempts from those provisions a firearm that are by a governmental agency as would be the case for any firearm issued or obtained by a law enforcement agency.”