NYPD Says It Will Cease Testing Cops for Weed, Then Reverses Course


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A New York Police Division memo made public on Wednesday suggested officers that they might not face drug checks for hashish, though the division rapidly reversed course and introduced that screenings for weed would proceed whereas the coverage is reviewed.

“The New York Metropolis Legislation Division has directed the NYPD to stop all random, scheduled and pre-employment testing for marijuana,” an NYPD spokeswoman said early Wednesday. “The Division will proceed to manage marijuana screenings to personnel when there’s indications of impairment and is reviewing its present insurance policies in gentle of this directive.”

The memo from the Legislation Division, which was dated July 11, mentioned that such screenings for marijuana are inconsistent with final yr’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which bans repercussions on staff for off-duty leisure hashish use. After receiving the directive from town’s Legislation Division, the NYPD Commissioner for Authorized Issues despatched a memo to division heads to inform them of the coverage change.

“The rationale behind this dedication is that there is no such thing as a take a look at for marijuana that conclusively determines present intoxication, making it unattainable to find out by drug take a look at alone whether or not an worker has examined constructive for marijuana due to improper use on the job or use throughout statutorily protected off-hours use,” reads NYPD the memo.

“Due to this fact, beginning instantly, the Division ought to solely drug take a look at a member of service for marijuana if there’s affordable suspicion that the member is impaired by marijuana on the job in such a fashion that impacts their job duties or the place there’s a federal requirement mandating testing for marijuana use, resembling title which requires a Industrial Driver License,” the NYPD memo continues.

Information Rapidly Walked Again

Nevertheless, an NYPD spokesperson mentioned later within the day that police division leaders have been speaking with representatives of the Legislation Division about potential conflicts with the coverage and federal legislation. Within the meantime, implementing the coverage can be placed on maintain.

“Whereas these discussions proceed, there is no such thing as a change in NYPD insurance policies, procedures, or testing protocols relating to using Marijuana by uniformed members of the service,” the spokesperson introduced.

NYPD Chief Keechant Sewell subsequently issued a memo to all commanders noting that cops are nonetheless banned from smoking weed, writing that “current division insurance policies that prohibit using marijuana stay in impact. Members of the service aren’t permitted to make use of hashish on or off obligation and can proceed to be topic to random, scheduled, and for-cause drug screening.”

Jennifer Cabrera, an lawyer with the hashish legislation agency Vicente Sederberg’s New York workplace, mentioned that law enforcement officials ought to be free from drug screenings for hashish.

“Officers of the NYPD ought to be free to devour hashish of their free time similar to some other resident of New York,” Cabrera wrote in an e-mail to Excessive Occasions. “Simply as officers can take pleasure in a drink or go to a bar off obligation, they need to be capable to responsibly take pleasure in hashish.”

FDNY To Finish Testing for Pot

The Legislation Division directive additionally apparently was issued to leaders on the New York Metropolis’s fireplace division. A consultant from the Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation (UFA), the union that represents town’s firefighters, mentioned that its members would not be topic to drug testing for hashish.

“The UFA has been knowledgeable that new Division tips are forthcoming relating to adjustments to the present FDNY drug testing coverage,” the UFA mentioned. “Now we have been knowledgeable that the Division will not randomly take a look at members for marijuana use.”

The union went on to notice that firefighters aren’t permitted to be excessive at work.

“Members are reminded that they should be match for obligation after they report back to work, and members should be topic to testing whereas at work if they seem unfit for obligation,” the union mentioned.

A New York State Police spokesman advised reporters that the company has not modified its coverage and would proceed to check its officers for medication together with hashish. Beneath the coverage, officers are topic to each random and scheduled drug testing.

Final yr, the Nationwide Group for the Reform of Marijuana Legal guidelines issued an announcement calling for an finish to office drug testing for hashish.

“Suspicionless marijuana testing within the office, resembling pre-employment drug screening, just isn’t now, nor has it ever been, an evidence-based coverage,” wrote NORML deputy dirctor Paul Armentano. “Reasonably, this discriminatory apply is a holdover from the zeitgeist of the Eighties ‘struggle on medication.’ However instances have modified; attitudes have modified, and in lots of locations, the marijuana legal guidelines have modified. It’s time for office insurance policies to adapt to this new actuality and to stop punishing staff for actions they interact in throughout their off-hours that pose no office security risk.”



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