NEW YORK - The NYPD sent out some mixed messages on Wednesday evening on the future of random marijuana testing within the force, after an earlier statement claimed that the policy was ending but by the evening, the NYPD had walked back the decision.
Some believe the change may be connected to recent reports of low recruitment numbers and an exodus of veteran members. However, there are concerns that an unintended consequence of the policy change would be first responders showing up to work under the influence.
"We have this law that started in 2021 that permitted people in all employment throughout the state to be able to use cannabis as long as they're outside the job and not exhibiting symptoms of cannabis on the job," said Andrew M. Lieb, an Employment Attorney. "There was an exception in that law for one year receiving federal funding, which is probably how the city was not following the law for their employees to date. But the risk assessment is what my guess is why the city is changing their policy."
FOX 5 NY reached out to the NYPD and FDNY, the Mayor's Office, and City Law Department for comment, but only the NYPD and the Law Department responded.
"While these discussions continue, there is no change in NYPD policies, procedures, or testing protocols regarding the use of Marijuana by uniformed members of the service," the NYPD said in a statement.
"Communications between the Law Department and City agencies are confidential and therefore we will not be commenting further," the Law Department said.
Previously, a police officer would be fired automatically if they tested positive for marijuana.
The memo also points out that police can be tested for other drugs.