STATEN ISLAND, NY – According to a news report published by SILive.com, government employees with the NYPD, FDNY, MTA transit workers, and thousands of other government workers in New York are not allowed to use marijuana, although adult marijuana use is now legal in New York. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that legalizes adult-use marijuana in New York State. However, government employees in New York whose duties are regulated by the federal government may not smoke marijuana since the drug remains illegal at the federal level.
Certain parts of the marijuana law took effect upon the Governor’s signing. For example, adults may smoke marijuana in public wherever tobacco smoke is allowed. The new law also decriminalized marijuana possession. However, the ability to grow marijuana at home and the opening of marijuana dispensaries will not become legal until the state establishes the Office of Cannabis Management to regulate these issues, and this may take about 18 months.
An NYPD police spokeswoman stated that the NYPD’s rules regard NYPD’s use of marijuana have not changed. FDNY sources stated that the department is reviewing its current policies to determine if updates need to be made due to the new law.
The Federal Transit Administration still requires metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers and other employees with public safety-sensitive careers to pass drug tests before they are hired, after an accident in an MTA or government vehicle, and at random times.
“Current federal law” and the chemical tests used cannot differentiate between a driver who is currently under the influence of marijuana or the driver smoked marijuana while on vacation. The Transport Workers Union Local 100 issued a statement telling workers to not smoke marijuana no matter what the State of New York laws states regarding marijuana usage.
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