PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh Police officer was placed on paid administrative leave for reportedly using prescribed medical marijuana and failing a random drug test.
When the medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors in Pittsburgh, there were no signs warning away City of Pittsburgh employees.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says, “If it’s on your own time, it would be legal in the state of Pennsylvania and it would be legal for city employees.”
But he adds the city is still trying to craft its policy on employees using medical marijuana.
“If we make it legal then it’s going to be something like alcohol. If you are at work and abusing it, then you can be fired,” Mayor Peduto says.
Until that new policy is enacted, the city finds itself in a gray area.
Under their contract, firefighters and paramedics can use medical marijuana but the police can’t. The state law legalizing medical marijuana does not exclude police, but the Police Training Commission does.
A Pittsburgh Police officer is currently on paid administrative leave after using prescribed medical marijuana for pain and then failing a random drug test. He presented his medical marijuana card but was suspended anyway.
The mayor isn’t sure what action will be taken.
“I don’t want to make that decision until the lawyers have a chance to debate it,” he says.
Mayor Peduto says there’s no timetable for adopting the city’s new policy.
On a related note, the mayor supports the governor’s call for legalizing recreational marijuana.