• Search

City Says NYPD Can’t Drug Test Cops For Marijuana Anymore

New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been ordered to stop testing its police officers for marijuana use.

“The New York City Law Department has directed the NYPD to cease all random, scheduled and pre-employment testing for marijuana,” an NYPD spokesperson said in a statement, according to the New York Post.

However, the waiver does not give officers carte blanche to smoke or consume marijuana when they’re on duty.

“The Department will continue to administer marijuana screenings to personnel when there is indication of impairment and is reviewing its current policies in light of this directive,” the NYPD statement read.

In the past, the nation’s largest police department would automatically fire any NYPD officer who tested positive for marijuana use, the New York Post reported.

But NYPD’s deputy commissioner of legal matters changed all that in a memo sent on July 11 that said “starting immediately, the department should only drug test a member of service for marijuana if there is reasonable suspicion that the member is impaired by marijuana on the job.”

The memo cited the citywide order distributed in April that prohibited agencies from testing employees for marijuana use because the tests cannot determine whether the employee used the drug on or off-duty, the New York Post reported.

Officers will still be tested for other illegal drugs, according to the memo.

A number of long-time officers were unhappy about the policy change, the New York Post reported.

“This is unreal,” a more-than 20-year veteran of NYPD said.

He questioned whether the announcement was “fake news.

“This is all for people who can’t get into the academy because they test positive for marijuana,” the officer told the New York Post. “I guess you’re going to rehire all the people who doled out? This department is going downhill. What happens if the person shoots and kills somebody and they find out they were high on marijuana?”

“Doled out” refers to officers who were dismissed after they tested positive for marijuana.

Other members of NYPD said substantially the same thing and opined that anybody who started using marijuana thinking they’re in the clear at the point would be foolhardy.

“Right now, it’s unknown whether this is even legit – and nobody knows how it’s going to work or if it’s going to work,” one official told The Police Tribune. “Marijuana is still against federal law so I don’t even know how they’re going to handle the transfer to firearms to people who have tested positive.”

Another veteran cop said he didn’t agree with the policy change at all.

“I don’t agree with it at all, but I’m an old-time cop,” he said. “I think it sets a bad example. What’s next, shooting heroin?”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."