Jersey City has filed a federal lawsuit against the state in an attempt to ban police officers from using cannabis.
While state law bars employers from penalizing employees who use cannabis on their personal time, Jersey City Mayor opposes police using cannabis. He argues that federal law prohibits drug users from carrying firearms.
James Shea, Jersey City’s public safety director, filed the 18-page complaint Monday, writing that cannabis is still considered a controlled substance under federal law, and anyone who uses cannabis cannot be employed as a police officer.
This legal dispute puts Jersey City in opposition to the state and Attorney General Matt Platkin, whose office has said that state law allows off-duty cannabis use by police officers. The conflict stemmed from a decision by the state Civil Service Commission, which mandated that Jersey City rehire a police officer dismissed after testing positive for cannabis.
Nevertheless, the lawsuit invokes the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prevents states from overriding federal statutes.
1/5 We disagree w/NJ’s position on this + agree w/fed standards. Our local police leadership will be issuing a directive today to the nearly 1000 police officers in #JerseyCity that we respect Nj’s position BUT to clarify in JC officers (on duty/off duty) will not be permitted pic.twitter.com/hHNA3b6fUj
— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) April 20, 2022
Fulop, a 2025 candidate for governor, said that if he becomes governor, there would be more professionals banned from consuming marijuana. He listed school bus drivers and health care workers as potential targets.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Jersey City sues the state as it look to ban cops from consuming weed