Prior Marijuana Use Rules Relaxed for Arizona Police Applicants

Arizona Police Cannabis
The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) certifies all peace officers and correctional officers in the state has loosened its regulations on accepting applicants with prior marijuana use.

AZPOST’s proposed changes to relax previous cannabis use has been approved by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council, AZFamily reported. The new regulations will go into effect in April 2021, the same month that Prop 207 would go into effect, if voters pass it.

“People would argue with that we are lowering standards to become a peace officer,” stated AZPOST executive director Matt Giordano. “I would argue with that. We are modernizing the standards to meet the needs of the community in the state of Arizona.”

AZPOST’s current rules:

  • Applicants cannot have used cannabis in three years prior to application
  • Applicants cannot have used cannabis more than 20 times total
  • Applicants cannot have used cannabis more than five times after the age of 21

AZPOST’s new rules (effective April 2021):

  • Applicants cannot have used cannabis in the two years prior to applying
  • Applicants’ amount of cannabis use is irrelevant
  • Applicants’ cannabis use after the age of 21 is irrelevant

Marijuana-related pre-employment hiring standards at AZPOST haven’t been significantly revised since the early 1990s.

Giordano continued, “What you see is you can drive in any direction and hit a state that has legal recreational marijuana. So these young men and women make decisions in college maybe in high school when they travel out of state… to take marijuana where it’s legal,” he said. “However they come back to Arizona and want to become a peace officers and don’t realize those actions they took that they believe to be legal somewhat equated to having a drink at a bar now we’re going to prohibit them from being a peace officer…it was just was time for us to address that.”

The proposed changes by AZPOST only apply to the minimum requirements. Police agencies in Arizona have the authority to implement stricter requirements.

AP Photo Marcio Jose Sanchez

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