Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, a retired police captain, is joining Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in opposing police using marijuana off duty.
“As a retired police officer myself, I know that sworn law enforcement officers must be held to a higher standard and I believe that allowing marijuana use by off-duty personnel would lead to lawsuits that would endanger both taxpayers and public safety by making it harder to win criminal convictions,” Davis said in a statement.
“Current testing methods cannot determine when someone was under the influence of marijuana, making it impossible for police officers to prove that their use occurred when off duty. This is an unnecessary complication to an already difficult job and I would support a legislative solution to close this loophole and make it 100% clear that as long as marijuana remains classified by the federal government as an illegal drug, we cannot have police officers using it.”
Fulop said in a tweet thread this morning that Jersey City issued a directive that their police officers could not use marijuana while off duty, despite a directive from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office last week that said that they could.
The presidents of the Police Officers Benevolent Association and the Police Superior Officers Association both told HCV they were against any policy that goes against the AG directive.
While Bayonne has not issued a directive yet, Davis said he plans on working with the Law Department to craft one.
The AG’s office has not weighed in on whether individual municipalities are able to take such action, the directive did not mention anything along those lines, but Fulop stated the city is ready to defend their position in federal court if necessary.
Davis is up for re-election on May 10th and received Fulop’s endorsement at the end of February.
Additionally, the Bayonne City Council convenes this evening at 7 p.m. and is expected to vote on amendments for legal cannabis businesses with retail sales set to begin tomorrow.
On the state level, Senate President Nick Scutari (D-22) told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday that he was against regulating people’s behavior during their free time.
His remarks came after Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said on Monday that he was “open” to the possibility of amending legislation to prevent police officers from using marijuana while off duty.