We reported about the controversy that had arisen when the New Jersey attorney general penned a memo clarifying that, under existing law, police officers aren’t barred from consuming cannabis while off duty. As a result of that memo, several bills have been filed in order to empower employers, including law enforcement agencies, to ban the use of marijuana by people occupying safety-sensitive jobs, including those in law enforcement.
One of the three measures that have been filed aims at giving law enforcement agencies the authority to act against the police for consuming marijuana even while off duty. This particular measure was filed by Rep. Louis Greenwald, a Democrat. His bill will also give law enforcement agencies leeway to undertake random testing for drugs and also turn down any applicants who have a history of using cannabis in compliance with the laws of the state.
At the moment, people serving in law enforcement agencies cannot be penalized for consuming marijuana as long as they don’t show up for work while impaired. This situation is concerning to the governor and other influential lawmakers who feel that police officers and other law enforcement personnel shouldn’t be allowed to consume cannabis.
While the bill introduced by Greenwald is looking at imposing cannabis consumption restrictions on the police, two other bills have a wider scope and seek to bring amendments that curtail cannabis consumption rules that started being implemented last month. For example, one of those other bills wants to bar first responders from consuming recreational marijuana even if the substance is legally available within the state.
The third bill, whose full text isn’t readily available yet, is intended to grant employers permission to restrict certain employees from consuming marijuana products. Without the full text of this draft law, it isn’t easy to decipher which particular categories of employers the proposed law is targeting with this permission to restrict the lawful use of marijuana.
If you think that these bills are unpopular given that recreational marijuana sales have just been launched, think again. There is widespread concern that people who bear arms to protect and serve the community wouldn’t be in contravention of any laws if they consumed cannabis products outside their work hours. As a result of this concern, several local authorities, including members of the city council of Newark, have taken steps to unilaterally ban cannabis use by the police. Other mayors and councils are also vowing to issue their own orders restricting off-duty use by police officers in their jurisdictions.
As legalization spreads to more states across the country and major sector players such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) establish their foothold, the regulatory kinks like those raising dust in New Jersey will be resolved and the industry will keep growing.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/RWBYF
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