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Public Safety Director: FTPD Won’t Be Harsh On Officers Toking Legal Weed On Their Own Time

Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather, seen here at the April 14 Township Council meeting, said the FTPD will not punish officers who use legal marijuana during off-duty hours.

Franklin Township will apparently not follow the lead of at least one other New Jersey town when it comes to police officers partaking of legal marijuana during their off-duty hours.

While she didn’t come right out and say it, Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather strongly hinted in an emailed statement on April 20 that FTPD officers using legal weed on their own time would not face any disciplinary issues, a position in line with guidance from the state’s Acting Attorney General.

Legal marijuana sales to people aged 21 and older begins in New Jersey on April 21. Acting State Attorney General Matthew Platkin sent a memo to police chiefs and directors reminding them that the state’s Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act prohibits departments from taking “any adverse action against any officers because they do or do not use cannabis off duty.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, although being a supporter of legal weed, has informed members of his police department that they will face disciplinary action if they imbibe during their off-duty hours.

Fulop has reportedly said that he is will to fight the issue in the courts.

In her email to the Franklin Reporter, Maeweather said that the FTPD “shall continue to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace, which prohibition includes marijuana/cannabis whether regulated or illicit. The CREAMMA does not require law enforcement agencies to permit or accommodate the possession, use, or consumption of cannabis in the workplace, or restrict the ability of an agency to implement a policy prohibiting use of cannabis items or intoxication by employees ‘during work hours.’”

“The Franklin Township Police Department restricts the use of cannabis under our Rules and Regulations. There will be zero tolerance for cannabis use, possession, or intoxication while performing the duties of a law enforcement officer,” she wrote.

“Additionally, there shall be zero tolerance for unregulated marijuana consumption by officers at any time, on or off duty, while employed by the Township of Franklin,” she wrote. Unregulated marijuana includes home-grown – which remains illegal – and purchases other than from state-sanctioned sources.

“While these regulations are developing, additional guidelines and/or directives will be provided by the State of New Jersey, The Attorney General’s Office and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office,” Maeweather wrote.

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