More than 110 of New Jersey’s largest business associations signed a letter sent to the legislature on November 30, 2020 regarding the Employer Protection sections containted in the recreational cannabis legalization bills (A-21 / S-21) being considered by the Legislature. The effort was spearheaded by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and the complete letter can be seen HERE.
The letter stresses that recent amendments to these bills further weaken the workplace safety provisions contained in the original legislation. The latest version of the legislation calls for the use of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). A business would need to hire or train a DRE to determine if an employee is, in fact, impaired, which places additional burdens and costs on businesses that are already struggling.
The letter stresses the importance of balancing individual employee rights with the needs of employers to protect their employees and the public. The Coalition stresses the need to proceed cautiously and use workplace safety and the rights of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace, as the guiding principles behind the final legislation.
In order to educate legislators, the letter contains detailed examples of marijuana workplace safety regulations adopted by other states that have previously legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It should be noted that most of these states allow employers to prohibit off-duty recreational marijuana use by employees or allow an employer to drug test current and prospective employees. None of the other states appear to have adopted DREs as a means for employers to identify impaired employees in the workplace.
NJ CAR will continue following this important issue and update dealers on how it impacts the continued safety of your day-to-day operations.