It took forever to do but we finally have adult-use recreational marijuana legal in New Jersey.
The tax money garnered hasn't exactly been the windfall some thought, but there are more dispensaries opening all the time and proponents say the future is bright. But that road to legalization still has some potholes to be repaired.
Just like the problem police face with someone driving while high on weed, employers in the Garden State are having the same difficulty. Specifically: How can you tell if someone is actively high?
When legalization came along, the powers that be built into the law protection for a recreational marijuana user regarding employment. Because THC stays in your system for days, even weeks, after you are no longer actively under its effects, they say an employer cannot use that traditional test to decide someone was dangerously high at work.
So what’s an employer to do? The Cannabis Regulatory Commission just last week approved guidance for the use of Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts for companies that might need to prove a worker was high on the job and not just having old residue in their system. You could read more about this here.
But I just need to ask, is life in New Jersey so absolutely wretched that you can’t even make it through an eight-hour workday without being high? Sure, it’s expensive here. Sure, traffic is stressful and yes we are living on top of each other. But is it really at the point that you just can’t wait until you get home?
Look, I understand that the daily smokers are going to argue their tolerance is higher therefore they’re not actually feeling what we think of as "high." But clearly it’s doing something to them or they wouldn’t bother doing it at 10 o’clock in the morning.
I’m not judging what you’re doing. I’m judging when and where you are doing it. I would say the same about alcohol. And if you think it’s OK to be high at work then I guess you also think it’s OK to drive home from work high? Sure, I know, you might even think it makes you a "better driver."
When driving and during work hours some will say marijuana use is just "taking the edge off" and allowing you to "focus." In reality, it's just another way of saying dulled senses and slowed reaction time.
Now if you’re a server at an Applebee’s and you have just hit up ZenLeaf on your way in and the only repercussion is going to be my chicken fingers are late, I don’t really care. But if you have any type of safety-sensitive job you’re kidding yourself if you think it’s cool to be getting high at work.
Ask yourself if you would want your five-year-old child's school bus driver blazing one 20 minutes before bringing your kid home. If you say you’re okay with that I feel even sorrier for you.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.