Protect and serve or puff puff pass? It’s a dilemma the NYPD are currently in when as of Wednesday of this week the largest police department in the country decided they would no longer test their officers for marijuana. However, they quickly reversed this decision and in a memo from the deputy commissioner explained “starting immediately, the department should only drug test a member of service for marijuana if there is reasonable suspicion that the member is impaired by marijuana on the job”. The NYPD would then later follow up in a letter to all commands that stated cops are “not permitted to use cannabis on or off duty.”
Previously, the standard policy was an officer who tested positive for marijuana would be automatically fired, but the recent decriminalization of it along with legislation being signed in NYC last year making adult-use cannabis legal has put the policy into question. The NYPD has faced lawsuits in the past for disciplining and firing cops for marijuana usage even when it medically prescribed for chronic illness purposes. The ping-ponging of new policy will surely lead to frustration and confusion among some boys in blue, but only time will tell if the NYPD will loosen up it’s stance.