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Jersey City lawsuit aims to quash police officers from using legal marijuana

Jersey City officials say federal law doesn't allow anyone to carry a gun if you're using marijuana. They say this contradicts New Jersey's law that allows anyone to use legal marijuana, even police.

News 12 Staff

Oct 17, 2023, 4:45 PM

Updated 249 days ago


Jersey City officials do not want their police officers smoking marijuana, even though adult-use recreational marijuana is legal in New Jersey.
The city has already fired five officers for testing positive for cannabis and just filed a federal lawsuit to ensure they won’t be forced to rehire these officers.
The federal lawsuit names state Attorney General Matthew Platkin, along with five Jersey City police officers recently terminated. The state Civil Service Commission has ruled that the city must rehire those officers, but the mayor and police director have so far refused.
The city is arguing that those officers broke the Federal Gun Control Act which prohibits anyone who uses marijuana from carrying a gun.
Public Safety Director James Shea spoke from police headquarters about why the lawsuit is being filed.
“If I provide ammunition to a person, I am breaking the law if I know that they are marijuana users,” Shea said.
Mayor Steve Fulop was by his side.
“The laws from the state of New Jersey directly conflict with the ATF and federal law exposed Jersey City to millions of dollars in potential liability,” Fulop said.
Fulop also expressed safety concerns, stating that officers can’t be impaired while on the job when they’re counted on to make quick, life-or-death decisions.
“There is no way for a police department to know if someone ingested or consumed cannabis-related product one hour ago, one week or three weeks prior to their shift. And think about the judgments they have to make every day on a specific tour,” said Fulop.
Under New Jersey state law, police officers are allowed to use recreational marijuana.
Shea said that before all this came about, every Jersey City police officer was warned not to use recreational marijuana. He also states that all five of the terminated officers were offered other jobs but turned them down.

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