New York City Fightfighters Are Finally Allowed to Spark up

Unless they come to work looking frass or try to start a cannabiz, then that’s a very different story.

To follow a new guidance detailed in a New York City Law Department memo to the NYPD, the Fire Department will end random drug testing for weed.

According to a leaked internal Uniformed Firefighters Association memo, “the Department will no longer randomly test members for marijuana use. We are asking all members to wait until the Department announces the official changes before considering any legal recreational or medicinal marijuana use.” The guideline is expected to be issued any day now.

Like with alcohol, there is are a few caveats. Members are subject to testing pre-employment, if they appear unfit to duty, or under special circumstances. After all, they are saving lives.

In a follow-up letter to the Special Operations Command, Chief of Operations John Esposito reiterated

“The New York City Law Department has issued guidance that prohibits adverse employment actions based on off-hours marijuana usage. This will change pre-employment, random, and scheduled drug testing policies for marijuana. Use of any substance while at work still remains strictly prohibited.”

John M. Esposito, July 13,2022

Since the Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act (MRTA) amended the New York State Labor Law to “prohibit adverse employment actions based on recreational and medicinal marijuana use,” the UFA believes they are entitled to the same laws as NYS residents – and they are right.

As long as firefighters remember to not spark up while at work, come to work blazed, or try to start a career in cannabis while they’re off the clock, they should be good.

Now the NYPD, that’s another story, you’ll soon find on this site.

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