N.J. officer to be reinstated after being fired for using cannabis
A judge pointed out that the city failed to provide any evidence demonstrating that the officer's off-duty cannabis use had an impact on her job performance
By Sarah Roebuck
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey judge and the Civil Service Commission ruled in favor of a Jersey City officer who was fired after she used cannabis, the New Jersey Monitor reports.
The city claimed that it could fire officers even if the substance was used legally and while off-duty. The judge ruled against that claim.
In the judge's verdict, Administrative Law Judge Kimberly Moss highlighted the evident clash between the state's legislation and federal law, the latter of which maintains marijuana as an illegal controlled substance. The judge emphasized that the state is not obligated to uphold federal law in situations where state law mandates police departments to adhere to the CREAMM Act. This act prohibits employers from terminating employees due to cannabis usage.
The decision sets a precedent as it appears to be the first ruling after a handful of local leaders came out against letting their officers partake in legal weed.
Recreational marijuana became legal to consume and possess in New Jersey in 2022.
In a 2022 memo issued by Attorney General Matt Platkin, it states officers can use cannabis when they're off-duty.
In September of 2022, Norhan Mansour was selected for a random drug screening, which yielded a positive result for cannabis.
In a disciplinary hearing, Mansour admitted to consuming cannabis-infused gummies the evening before the test. Records indicate that her employment was terminated following the result of the test.
In the judge's ruling, she pointed out that the city failed to provide any evidence demonstrating that Mansour's off-duty cannabis use had an impact on her job performance.
Moss suggested that the Civil Service Commission reinstate Monsour, a recommendation that was upheld in the commission's ruling on August 2nd. This decision also granted Monsour retroactive pay, benefits and coverage of legal expenses.