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The City of Jersey City has filed a federal lawsuit against the state for allowing off-duty officers to use cannabis.
Filed by James Shea, Director Of Public Safety For The City Of Jersey City & The City Of Jersey City, the case highlights that the Federal Gun Control Act prevents cannabis users from possessing or receiving firearms and ammunition.
However, since cannabis was legalised in the state, officers have been allowed to consume the plant when they are not working.
The case states: “New Jersey failed to address the impact of the federal firearm laws on the use of regulated marijuana/cannabis in New Jersey for persons who are required to possess and/or receive firearms or ammunitions as part of the job duties, including police officers in Jersey City.”
It highlights a conflict between the Federal Gun Control Act and the CREAMM Act, which legalised recreational cannabis, stating that the Commission’s position on preemption and the violation of federal law remains inconsistent with the interpretation of the United States Department of Justice.
It reads: “…Jersey City Police Department personnel must provide such officers with ammunition at least semiannually in order for them to fulfill their duties as a police officer. They cannot do so without being in violation of federal law given the knowledge that such officers are users of controlled substances.”
In a press conference, New Jersey Mayor Steven Fulop commented: “New Jersey is the only state in the country that doesn’t have carve-outs for specific professions. and we talked about police officers and the split-second decisions that they act to make life and death are often a part of that.
“The fact that the laws from the state of New Jersey directly conflict with the ATF and federal law exposes Jersey City to millions of dollars in potential liability. and that’s just unacceptable to us.”
Jersey Public Safety Director, James Shea, added: “We didn’t ask for this position. We were just the first ones to point it out.”