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And now the bad news
Medical cannabis in NJ is still the most expensive in the nation, between $450-$500 for an ounce of the good stuff. And lacking provisions for home cultivation, you can go to jail for 5 years for growing your own weed in New Jersey.
One measure (S2518), sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean), would amend the state’s recreational marijuana law to ban cannabis consumption for any employee who operates heavy machinery or uses weapons, or whose use of cannabis would “put the public at risk.” That would include any workers who operate tractors, dump trucks, excavators, and bulldozers, plus law enforcement officers.
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.”
In Arizona, police aren’t allowed to consume marijuana, recreationally or medicinally, so some of Jacobs’ former colleagues can’t partake like he can. Jacobs thinks more states should follow New Jersey’s lead. Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin reminded law enforcement chiefs recently that the New Jersey law allowing for recreational marijuana permits cops to consume it off duty.
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."
Ocean County sheriff’s officers are prohibited from using marijuana when off duty, despite a memo from acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin asserting that they can.
Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy has informed his police unions that there will be “ramifications” if an officer is discovered to have violated the county policy, said Jack Kelly, director of the county Board of Commissioners. However, the sheriff has stopped short of threatening to terminate any employee who does so.
New Jersey police officers will be allowed to purchase and consume marijuana once it's officially and legally for sale, just like any other potential customer, under the legal weed laws passed last year.
On Thursday, acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin issued a memo alerting police chiefs that law enforcement agencies "may not take any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty," which was codified in the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.