Nevada Commission Approves Reform to Police Hiring Rules Regarding Cannabis Offenses in Landmark Vote

Nevada Commission Approves Reform to Police Hiring Rules Regarding Cannabis Offenses in Landmark Vote

Those who have previously been convicted of cannabis offenses in Nevada will now be able to become police officers for the first time following a landmark vote.

Nevada officials have approved a proposal to amend hiring standards for police officers, allowing candidates previously disqualified for certain marijuana-related offenses to be eligible for law enforcement positions, Marijuana Moment reported.

The state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) voted in favor of the change, revising regulations around hiring that currently disqualify individuals convicted of offenses related to the unlawful use, sale, or possession of controlled substances.

The revised language specifies that the restriction doesn’t apply to individuals convicted of cannabis-related offenses if the conduct is no longer unlawful at the time of their application for certification as a police officer. This move aims to broaden the pool of eligible candidates for law enforcement positions and assist agencies in filling critical roles without incurring additional costs.

It’s important to note that while the approval of the change allows previously disqualified candidates to apply, it does not permit officers to use cannabis once employed. The decision represents a significant shift in policy, especially considering the current no-tolerance stance on cannabis use outlined in the agency’s administration manual.

The POST administration manual currently emphasizes the prohibition of marijuana usage in the policing profession, even for off-duty or medical use. The recent regulatory reform raises questions about whether the agency will maintain such language in its policies.

This development follows a 2019 case where a Las Vegas police officer was terminated for testing positive for THC metabolites. In 2021, a district judge deemed the zero-tolerance policy for cannabis as “untenable” and acknowledged that state statute protects employees’ lawful use of marijuana outside of work.

Nevada has seen various adjustments to marijuana rules in recent months, including an increase in the personal possession limit and expanded business license eligibility for individuals with prior felony convictions.

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