Facts about military drug law in New Jersey

Military personnel in New Jersey should know about the ways in which their organization’s drug policy applies to them.

If someone has enlisted in the military in New Jersey, they should be aware of the specific ways in which drugs are handles in that organization. There are regular drug tests performed on all military personnel, and it is possible for anyone found to have possessed contraband or drugs, or found to have been under the influence to be terminated. People working in the military should how the rules about drug use apply to them.

Drug policy definitions

The military has some specific ways in which it defines various terms in their policy, and it is helpful for anyone to understand them. A layperson's opinion, a blood or urine test, a test that is scientifically valid or the opinion of a professional are all ways in which the military can confirm a person's being affected by a drug or alcohol, which is defined as "under the influence."

In some cases reasonable belief that a person is under the influence may apply. Some examples of situations that can validate reasonable belief include conduct that seems erratic, accidents on the job, behavioral changes and decreases in an employee's psychomotor control, concentration, reasoning, judgment or productivity. If such a situation is described by a prudent person, reasonable belief can be established.

There is a difference between legal and illegal drugs as the military defines them. As long as a drug is being used the way it was intended, and it has been obtained over-the-counter or via prescription, it is considered a legal drug. Illegal drugs include not only drugs that are not legally obtainable, such as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, but also any prescription drug being used in a way it was not prescribed for, or a prescription drug obtained in a non-legal manner.

A relevant state mandate

The New Jersey military's drug policy cites a governor's executive order from 1989. The executive order requires a few things not included in the military's policy. Within five days of conviction, an employee must report any drug offense to their supervisor. Disciplinary action must be taken against any employee who has been convicted of a drug offense, even if they are not required to forfeit their employment. However, if the offense is deemed to be of the third degree or higher, or if it involves any dishonesty, it is required that an employee give up their position under the State Forfeiture of Public Office statute.

Those who are accused of violating the military drug policy in New Jersey and who want to have their rights defended may find it helpful to get representation by a local attorney who practices military law.