Jelani Gibson, content lead for NJ Cannabis Insider, and a reporter for NJ.com and The Star-Ledger, talks about a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision that puts new limits on how a controversial method used to determine if someone is driving while high can be used in court.
New Jersey’s Supreme Court has declared the testimony of drug recognition experts reliable enough to be used as evidence, though they limited its use over concerns about such experts’ processes.
Wednesday’s decision is a partial defeat for the state Office of the Public Defender, which argued the case, and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, which was among several groups that filed supporting briefs. It comes three months after a court-appointed special master found such testimony was reliable enough to act as evidence.
Hoboken for Responsible Cannabis, a non-profit founded to ensure the proper implementation and regulation of Hoboken’s cannabis industry, won a lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court against the City of Hoboken Planning Board and Blue Violets. HRC successfully argued that the Planning Board did not have jurisdiction to review the application for the Blue Violets dispensary which violates Hoboken’s Commonsense Cannabis ordinances.
The Case at Hand
Plaintiff Erick Zanetich applied for a job at one of Defendant Walmart’s New Jersey locations. After interviewing for the position, Zanetich received a conditional job offer with a start date, subject to passing a drug test. After testing positive for cannabis, Walmart withdrew Zanetich’s conditional job offer. Subsequently, Zanetich filed suit in federal court asserting violations of CREAMMA.
An administrative law judge has ruled that Jersey City should reinstate a police officer fired after testing positive for cannabis, rejecting the city’s argument that federal statutes trump protections in state law.
Jersey City terminated the officer, Norhan Mansour, in April for violating the police department’s drug policy which prohibited the use of cannabis by officers both on and off the job.
On April 25, 2023, in Henson v. Daimler Truck North America LLC, Civil Case No. 22-cv-6479 (RBK/MJS), United States District Judge Robert B. Kugler ruled that the wrongful termination suit filed by an employee who was fired after testing positive for cannabis may proceed. Judge Kugler, however, determined that the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) whistleblower claim should be dismissed due to the lack of a causal nexus between the employee’s communications regarding New Jersey drug testing law and his firing.
Multistate operators with New York medical cannabis licenses sued regulators on Thursday in an attempt to gain quick entry into the state’s adult-use marijuana market.
The MSOs are currently shut out from New York’s legal recreational market.
A former employee of Curaleaf is suing the multi-state cannabis operator alleging retaliation for speaking up during an investigation into the consumption of alcohol at one of its dispensaries.
The ex-employee filed the lawsuit March 7 in Camden County against Curaleaf, records show. The complaint alleges Curaleaf wrongfully terminated the man in November for answering truthfully during a human resources investigation into alleged drinking by employees at a Bellmawr dispensary on the day prior to the launch of the sale of recreational marijuana.
NJ Supreme Court’s Decision in State v. Gomes
The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed. It held that “persons who received pre-CREAMMA conditional discharges for specified marijuana offenses — just like persons who had pre-CREAMMA convictions for those marijuana offenses — are no longer categorically precluded from future admission into PTI.” Going forward, prosecutors and reviewing courts must consider the merits of their PTI applications, without regard to the existence or circumstances of the earlier marijuana-related conditional discharges.
Those living near proposed sites for cannabis businesses in Neptune City continue to ask questions but borough officials are unable to answer them because of pending lawsuits, one of which was filed by two of the neighbors.
Mayor Andrew C. Wardell said at this week’s meeting of the Borough Council that he plans to introduce new legislation regarding the legal sale of marijuana in Neptune City and will do so once it is legally possible.