Effective Thursday, April 21, 2022 the recreational use of marijuana and other cannabis products became legal in New Jersey.
Regardless of this change in law, the Borough Council and I want to emphasize that all policies and procedures and rules and regulations applicable to the employees of the Borough of Woodland Park will remain the same.
Our Police Officers are responsible for ensuring our public safety, enforcing laws and serving as our protectors. Our DPW workers utilize heavy equipment and hold CDL licenses to carry out their duties in maintaining the infrastructure, keeping our town looking beautiful. Our office staff must ensure that the needs of Borough residents are met each day – from taking out a building permit to paying a parking ticket – efficiently and effectively. Our recreation staff, including Summer Camp counselors, are responsible for the safety and well-being of our children.
None of these responsibilities can be accomplished safely and effectively while being impaired.
While cannabis use is now legal – as was voted upon and approved by the voters in the 2020 General Election – we as municipal employees and public servants must provide services to our residents and customers with a clear mind and optimal efficiency.
We have reminded all employees that unlike alcohol use, which can be scientifically tested to determine the level of intoxication for up to a 24-hour period, cannabis remains in one’s system for a longer period of time, and an individual can test positive for up to 30 days after use.
The Borough will continue random drug testing of DPW employees, test Police Officers in accordance with State mandates and retain the right to test all other employees under reasonable suspicion. Positive drug tests will result in disciplinary action just as before the change in law.
Employees impaired (or employees being accused of being impaired) while carrying out their duties and responsibilities can potentially create dire consequences for the Borough, including: increased liability and safety concerns, along with the loss of public confidence.
Our residents can rest assured that the Borough of Woodland Park will maintain a safe and efficient work space for our employees, and all employees will carry out their duties unimpaired.
Keith Kazmark, Mayor