Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop issued a warning to the city's police force -- using marijuana, even off-duty, "will result in termination."
Fulop's position, which cites federal government policies, comes even though the state's acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin issued a memo last week, according to reports, that stated off-duty officers in the Garden State are allowed to consume cannabis products and not face discipline under the state’s legal marijuana law.
However, in a series of tweets, Fulop said the city disagrees with New Jersey's position on this, opting to adhere to federal 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 to smoke marijuana," part of Fulop's tweet thread, published Wednesday, read.
"The fact is that all of the officers/recruits attest to the federal govt via DOJ + ATF paperwork when they receive their firearms that they will not use any federal prohibited drugs including marijuana," Fulop went on to say.
According to the mayor, the state's memo allowing for officers to consume cannabis will put "the community at risk."
"NJ’s policies allowing law enforcement to smoke is an outlier nationally and one that will put our officers + community at risk with impaired judgement. Unlike alcohol where there are tests + timelines that can create clear protection between consumption + duty, w/marijuana that doesn’t exist," Fulop said, adding that "it would be irresponsible to allow officers to work w/impaired judgment + it will only take one blood test after a car crash or discharged weapon where an officer tests positive for trust to erode."
Although Fulop explained that he has "been a staunch supporter of legalization," "responsible protections for our officer and community is important. The trust between police/community is fragile."
While Platkin's memo stated allowing police officers to use cannabis while off-duty, on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s “open-minded” to changing the rules to effectively prohibit police officers in the state from getting high while they’re off duty, NJ.com reports.
This latest development coming from Jersey City follows Murphy's announcement last week that legal sales of marijuana in New Jersey are set to begin Thursday.
People aged 21 and over in the state will be able to purchase cannabis and cannabis products without a medical card on that date, the governor tweeted.
Voters approved the legal sale of marijuana in the state in 2020, but the state has taken this long to establish the rules governing its sale and approve companies to sell it.
Seven medical marijuana dispensaries in the Garden State were given the green light to sell recreational pot at 13 locations in a vote by the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission on April 11.
Before that ruling, there were only medical marijuana dispensaries operating in New Jersey. Seven of those medical marijuana companies received the first licenses.
Many more prospective recreational retailers are also trying to open in New Jersey.