The battle within New Jersey lawmakers on whether to legalize marijuana has created a rift, almost half of the states local police departments are said to lack officers who are specially trained to spot drivers under the influence of marijuana, reported the states highest law officials.
According to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal his department which includes the State Police is consistently training officers, ” “drug recognition experts,” commonly referred to as DREs.
“We have been anticipating the Legislature and the governor acting on some form of legalization for some time, so we have been ramping up our efforts to increase the number of DREs,” he said in an announcement to the state assembly on Wednesday.
He explained how the state has around 520 law enforcement officials trained as DREs, up from about 400 compared to last year. Grewal also told the group that his department is hoping to educate 100 new and expert DREs each year.
Since the beginning of Gov. Phil Murphy campaign, he has set forth to legalize cannabis; however, the efforts of lawmakers to push a vote through the state legislature last month fell apart within the final seconds. State leaders are confident that a recreational marijuana bill will pass, although they have to convince the majority of their colleagues to approve a controversial measure.
At the moment, just over 200 of New Jersey’s more than 400 local police departments have confirmed that they all have their drug recognition experts. According to a statement made by the attorney general, the New Jersey State Police, which helps out every other local city department when needed- is expected to train every one of its 1,400 road troopers in drug recognition.
“From our perspective, we’ll be ready,” Grewal believed. “We’re increasing training, trying to offer more classes. But it’s an intensive program.”
The new training will consist of two weeks of course work and a solid week of outdoor field training, with some test to ensure the troopers have retained the information.