New Jersey eliminates cannabis testing for police officers

Testing will still occur if there is "reasonable suspicion" of consumption during working hours. Recreational marijuana is legal in New Jersey.

The State of New Jersey has eliminated marijuana use controls for police officers while off duty. Thus, police officers will not be subject to consumption controls outside of their working hours. This was announced by Matthew Platkin, attorney general of the state, who defended this measure saying its goal is to prevent illegal consumption of cannabis:

The goal of the policy is deterring illegal drug use, including unregulated marijuana, by law enforcement officers. Because illegal drug use is inconsistent with the duties, obligations and responsibilities of sworn law enforcement officers, the policy mandates that officers who test positive shall be terminated from employment.

Law Enforcement Drug Testing Policy Rev Feb 2023 by VozMedia on Scribd

This is not to say that marijuana use is tolerated in the police force. Officers may not use this substance while on duty or in preparation for joining the department. Should they do so, their badge would be removed or, in the case of trainees, they would not be able to enter the New Jersey State Police.

The measure also does not prohibit law enforcement agencies from conducting routine checks when "there is reasonable suspicion" about an officer's consumption using while on duty. What it vprevents is regulating officers' use of cannabis outside their working hours.

Recreational marijuana is legal in 21 states

Recreational cannabis use is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia. The latest to join were Maryland, Missouri and Rhode Island in 2022. In New Jersey, it was approved three years ago, a vote that took place before the last presidential election.

The law establishes that those 21 years of age or older may purchase and consume recreational marijuana, whether they are residents or visitors. However, it is only available for purchase in establishments that have the legal permission of the state, which will be able to sell a maximum of 28.35 grams to each customer. Its consumption is restricted on public roads; it may only be consumed in private places with the owner's authorization.