The New Jersey Supreme Court is set to decide on how law enforcement and employers measure cannabis impairment.
The case, State v. Olenowski, has questioned the use of specially trained officers, called Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) who perform cannabis sobriety tests, as well as the protocol used by these officers, according to an NJ.com report.
The state Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has challenged the scientific validity of how police officers detect drug impairment, including the detection of drivers suspected to be under the influence of THC, the news outlet reported.
The outcome of the case could ultimately impact other provisions in New Jersey’s law that require drug testing in the workplace, NJ.com reported, since employers’ testing protocols often mirror those used by DREs in law enforcement.
Krista Nash, a member of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), said May 7 during a cannabis business event hosted by CBD delivery company Roll-Up Life that regulators are awaiting the outcome of the case before writing rules governing how cannabis impairment is measured, according to NJ.com.
Funding included in New Jersey’s cannabis law earmarked for DREs could also be impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision, the news outlet reported.
Kimberly Schultz, the OPD attorney leading the case, told NJ.com that briefs were submitted in March and the judge must now decide whether he will hear oral arguments.
New Jersey legalized medical cannabis in 2010 and adult-use in 2020; the state’s first adult-use sales launched last month.