Mayor: Woodland Park employees, police could be fired for marijuana use

The mayor of Woodland Park says municipal employees could be fired if they test positive for marijuana or are found to be working while impaired following the legalization of recreational use.

News 12 Staff

Apr 26, 2022, 8:27 PM

Updated 778 days ago

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The mayor of Woodland Park says municipal employees could be fired if they test positive for marijuana or are found to be working while impaired following the legalization of recreational use.
Mayor Keith Kazmark says this rule applies to police officers, Department of Public Works employees and staff within the municipal building.
"We want everyone to be clearheaded. We want everyone to be efficient at their job,” Kazmark says.
Previously Kazmark has said DPW employees could be terminated with two positive drug tests and municipal workers could face what he called "progressive discipline." He says this protocol will remain despite the legalization of recreational marijuana.
The mayor’s rule is a strong suggestion against workers taking advantage of the one of the 13 dispensaries around the state. Kazmark says he believes it is especially important for police officers to not use marijuana.
"We don't want police officers to be put in a situation where their character or credibility could be called into question,” he says.
This follows a decision made by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop last week, who said city police officers will not be allowed to use marijuana on or off duty.
However, under state law, law enforcement officers are allowed usage. State Attorney General Matthew Platkin sent out a memo saying that municipalities “may not take any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty."
New Jersey PBA President Pat Colligan told officers in a letter, "Some employers have taken the position that they retain the right to discipline for a positive test…Until those provisions are in place, you should not risk your job, or at the very least a long-term suspension."
Police officers statewide are subject to random tests.
Kazmark says he reinforced his position on the matter of marijuana because employees started asking if the standards would change since recreational use became legal.


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