Letter | Smoking pot and being a cop
I see articles about Kingman Police Department and Mohave County Sheriff’s Office looking for volunteers for the sheriff’s posse and other positions.
One reason law enforcement in Arizona and other states can’t find volunteers or employees is marijuana. Today, 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. The District of Columbia and 10 states, including Nevada and California, have legalized marijuana for recreational use. But smoke pot five times after turning 21 and you can’t be a certified peace officer in Arizona.
Over half of the U.S. population has tried marijuana and apparently can never be peace officers in many states. When you turn 21 you can head to Las Vegas and literally drink yourself to death and be a cop, but don’t hit that joint five times or your out. Oh yeah, you can work for the FBI, DEA, or U.S. Customs after using drugs, just not in Arizona.
The Arizona Police Officer Standard Training webpage says “Arizona POST is concerned with past illegal drug use because it demonstrates a willingness or propensity to do illegal things. It shows a lack of respect for the law.”
It fails to mention illegal alcohol use while a teenager that usually requires teens to steal alcohol or obtain it in another illegal fashion and driving under the influence.
The POST webpage goes on to say, “At the same time, AZPOST recognizes that many people experiment with marijuana or other drugs in their youth. Therefore, the AZPOST standard for pre-employment illegal drug use is “experimentation.” An applicant may not have used drugs other than for experimentation.”
The numbers are divided by age and type of drug. Illegal marijuana use is presumed to be experimental if the numbers do not exceed 20 in a lifetime, with no more than five of those uses being at “age 21 or older.”
Then it says, “There are also time limits prior to application within which no illegal use of any character is allowed – three years for marijuana and seven years for dangerous drugs or narcotics.”