N.J. Supreme Court decision could change how police test cannabis impairment

N.J. Supreme Court decision could change how police test cannabis impairment
CANNANNEW REPORT

NJ.com reports The New Jersey Supreme Court case that could decide how cannabis impairment is — or isn’t — measured by police is nearing a conclusion with multiple ramifications. In question is the protocol and use of specially trained officers known as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), who perform marijuana sobriety tests. The case, State v. Olenowski, involves the state Office of the Public Defender challenging the scientific validity of how police officers detect drug impairment, including on drivers suspected to be under the influence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The case could also affect other provisions in the law that require sobriety to be measured in the workplace since much of those impairment testing protocols pull heavily from the same training standards DREs receive. “We are waiting to see what is going to happen with that case,” said state Cannabis Regulatory Commissioner Krista Nash at a Saturday business cannabis event organized by Roll-Up Life, a New Jersey-based CBD delivery company. “We don’t want to write rules and then have a court case settled be in conflict.” THC can impair skills required for driving safely by slowing one’s reaction time, decision-making and coordination. There is currently a lack of technology that can tell in real time what threshold makes a person too impaired to drive, meaning police officers had to rely on a sobriety test their profession created. There are provisions in the cannabis law that allow police to receive funding for even more DREs that can be affected as well. The OPD attorney leading the case, Kimberly Schultz, said she was waiting on next steps. “Our briefs were submitted in March and we are waiting to hear from the judge about whether he wishes to have an oral argument,” Schultz told NJ Cannabis Insider. The New Jersey Association of Drug…

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