By Therin Miller | July 29, 2022
The Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) confirmed last week that the New York City Fire Department (NYFD) will cease random Cannabis testing for their members. This comes after a classified memo describing the revisions.
In a July 13 email to members, the union said it expected official instructions on the new policy within two weeks. The union stated that the new policy is the result of New York's comprehensive legalization, which went into effect on April 1, and that it requested the modifications after the law was passed.
"Members must understand that the UFA Executive Board's actions on this matter do not constitute or promote recreational marijuana use," the update says, adding that "these moves are based on the belief that UFA members are also entitled to the same protections under the [Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] as all other New York State residents."
Chief of Operations John Esposito reminded firefighters in a follow-up letter that "use of any substance while at work remains strictly prohibited," but added that the New York City Law Department has issued a guide that "prohibits adverse employment actions based on off-hours" cannabis consumption, and that the recommendation would be officially disseminated within the next two weeks.