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A new NJBIA OpEd warns that workplace safety protections should not be compromised as part of an amended recreational cannabis bill moving through the Legislature. 

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs wrote in ROI-NJ today that updated language in bills S-21/A-21 weaken the elimination of “safeguards to ensure employers can maintain drug-free workplaces.” This new language includes the proposed utilization of certified experts to make decisions and take action if an employee is suspected of being under the influence. 

Let’s be clear, so-called Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts will not be effective in determining which employees are impaired by cannabis, because their training is not based on scientific standards,” Cantor wrote. In fact, New Jersey courts have currently halted the use of such expert evidence in criminal cases. 

And, beyond the fact that we should not be mandating employers to incur additional expense to hire experts or to train their staff, the amendments now found in Section 47 of the bills essentially place limitations on testing when critical industries and high-risk jobs, in particular, actually need more protections for public safety. 

The Senate and Assembly canceled their voting sessions on the bill, scheduled for today. As deliberations between the Senate and Assembly continue on the bill, Cantor wrote the amended legislation “favor(s) a person’s ability to use cannabis over protecting public safety.” 

“This is the wrong balance as we legalize a new recreational drug into society, and thus into the workplace,” he wrote.  

“To be sure, if an employee is high on the job, the stakes will be much higher for employers, their workers, their customers and the public. 

To read the full OpEd in today’s ROI-NJ, click here.