First responders seek clarity on recreational marijuana rules

New Jersey firefighters and EMS personnel are calling for clear statewide guidelines on the recreational use of marijuana, citing uncertainty around off-duty cannabis use and impairment determinations.

News 12 Staff

Aug 16, 2023, 2:24 AM

Updated 343 days ago

Share:

Firefighters and EMS workers across New Jersey are expressing frustration over a lack of clear guidelines regulating their recreational use of marijuana when off duty.
Unlike law enforcement, first responders say there is no detailed policy governing cannabis use among fire and emergency personnel in the state. This has created uncertainty around what is legally permissible.
“Our attorneys warned us don’t be the test case,” said Steve McConlogue, president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ). “Don’t be the first one.”
While emphasizing that no one should work impaired, McConlogue said there is no consensus on how to determine impairment, since cannabis can remain in the bloodstream long after its effects wear off.
Currently, individual fire departments have their own drug and alcohol policies that vary. The firefighters association is urging state officials to develop a uniform set of rules.
“We need guidance documents prepared that says, here’s how cannabis affects a person, how long it lasts,” McConlogue said.
Questions also remain around policies for volunteer emergency responders.


More from News 12
2:34
STORM WATCH: Mostly cloudy today with steady batch of rain for New Jersey

STORM WATCH: Mostly cloudy today with steady batch of rain for New Jersey

2:10
Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

0:31
Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment

Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment

0:35
Authorities: Mount Laurel man admits to possession of pipe bombs found in 2023 traffic stop

Authorities: Mount Laurel man admits to possession of pipe bombs found in 2023 traffic stop

0:28
Husband and wife sentenced for running fake medical practice in Old Bridge

Husband and wife sentenced for running fake medical practice in Old Bridge

0:20
Ewing woman sues Wawa after falling in open parking lot manhole

Ewing woman sues Wawa after falling in open parking lot manhole

0:27
Wiers Farm recalls multiple vegetables, bagged salad due to listeria concerns

Wiers Farm recalls multiple vegetables, bagged salad due to listeria concerns

1:25
Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

0:37
Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

1:27
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's shrimp with leeks and beans

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's shrimp with leeks and beans

4:23
Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

2:06
Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

2:08
Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

0:48
Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

0:22
Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

1:44
'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

3:02
Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

0:44
3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

0:31
Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder