Marijuana was decriminalized in Canada in October 2018. Since that time, many Canadian police departments have implemented policies regarding officials using marijuana that would probably shock many Americans. For example, the Vancouver Police Department says that it will not impose any restrictions on their officers for using marijuana while off-duty. The only policy they will enforce is that all officers must be fit for duty when they report to work. It essentially holds them to the same standards as after-hours alcohol consumption.

Changes are happening in the United States as well. In Atlanta, Georgia, which is a state where marijuana use is still illegal, the Atlanta Police Department will no longer ask applicants if they have smoked marijuana and consider its use as a factor in eligibility to join the force. They claim that they have lost too many qualified candidates when asking them about marijuana smoking.

Share your opinions, from both the perspective of a criminal justice administrator working in a state where marijuana use has been decriminalized and from the perspective of a private citizen, on whether criminal justice personnel (in states where it is legal) should be allowed to use marijuana while off-duty. Explain the rationale for your opinions.

REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 150 WORDS or MORE)

                                                          CLASSMATE’S POST

Marijuana was decriminalized in Canada in October 2018. Since that time, many Canadian police departments have implemented policies regarding officials using marijuana that would probably shock many Americans. For example, the Vancouver Police Department says that it will not impose any restrictions on their officers for using marijuana while off-duty. The only policy they will enforce is that all officers must be fit for duty when they report to work. It essentially holds them to the same standards as after-hours alcohol consumption.

Changes are happening in the United States as well. In Atlanta, Georgia, which is a state where marijuana use is still illegal, the Atlanta Police Department will no longer ask applicants if they have smoked marijuana and consider its use as a factor in eligibility to join the force. They claim that they have lost too many qualified candidates when asking them about marijuana smoking.

Share your opinions, from both the perspective of a criminal justice administrator working in a state where marijuana use has been decriminalized and from the perspective of a private citizen, on whether criminal justice personnel (in states where it is legal) should be allowed to use marijuana while off-duty. Explain the rationale for your opinions.

As a criminal justice administrator working in a state where marijuana has been decriminalized, I would still ask the questions of, do you smoke marijuana, have you ever smoked marijuana, and when was the last time you consumed marijuana? This would be for documentation purposes to have notated in the officer’s file. I would like to have a policy of no smoking marijuana 24 hours prior to their shift. 

My rationale for this reasoning is that if a person consumes marijuana prior to being employed versus someone that says they do not consume marijuana but may pick up the habit after being influenced to try it by co-workers. If an incident should occur with an employee after consuming marijuana for the first time an incident occurs at work and the marijuana consumption played a part in the behavior of the officer, it would be good for the employer to have notated this information prior to their start date. Being a new consumer of marijuana may have played a major role in the officer’s behavior versus his conduct before ever consuming marijuana. 

As a private citizen, I do not believe criminal justice personnel should be able to consume marijuana off-duty even if it is legal in the state, they work in. My rationale for this is that criminal justice personnel are held to a higher standard and looked upon by citizens as professional persons that they go to for help. I think that if they use marijuana and are corrupt, they will possibly take drugs from citizens to consume for themselves. I think that they will not follow the policy as directed by the department that will possibly lead to bad judgment calls and the use of force issues.

 
 

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