Energy Conference: Decarbonization - A Business Perspective REGISTER

The New Jersey Business Coalition (NJBC) has submitted a letter to the Legislature urging a reversal of recent amendments to recreational cannabis legalization bills that weaken workplace safety and require added costs to businesses.

In the letter, found here, the group of nearly 100 business and nonprofit groups, explains the legislation weakens an employer’s ability to have a drug-free workplace, even in safety-sensitive industries. And recent amendments calling for the hiring and training of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to determine if an employee is impaired “will place additional burdens and costs on the business community.”

“Furthermore, the New Jersey Supreme Court is currently hearing a case to determine whether DRE testimony is even admissible in court,” the letter reads.

The NJBC also details workplace safety rules in all other states where recreational marijuana is legalized. In most cases, employers are permitted “to prohibit off-duty recreational marijuana use by employees or allow an employer to drug test current and prospect employees.”

“Moreover, it does not appear that DREs have been adopted in any other state as a means for employers to identify impaired employees in the workplace,” the letter continues.

The coalition requests the Legislature “to protect the rights of our employer community to maintain a drug-free workplace, and thus both worker and public safety, without increasing the burdens on a business community that has been severely impacted by COVID-19 over the last nine months. 

“Given the fact that we are for the first time legalizing recreational marijuana, we must proceed cautiously and err on the side of workplace safety, the coalition wrote.