Seattle Police Change Hiring Policy Due To Pot Legalization


Sure smells good up in this squad car, officer.

The Seattle Police Department on Tuesday announced that due to the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington state, job applicants will no longer be disqualified for using cannabis in the last three years — now it’s just a one-year period in which you are required not to have gotten high.

This is a big change; it makes the SPD the first police department in Washington to modify its hiring process due to marijuana legalization, reports Matt Driscoll at the Seattle Weekly.

According to the SPD, applicants have previously been disqualified on the spot if they were foolish enough to admit smoking marijuana in the three years prior to applying for a job on the police force; that rule is now being relaxed to just one year.
Seattle Assistant Police Chief Dick Reed: “We’re trying to find a middle ground that doesn’t exclude viable candidates” 

“In light of the changing cultural and political landscape, the three-year rule does not make sense,” said Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Dick Reed in a blog post announcing the policy change. “We’re trying to find a middle ground that doesn’t exclude viable candidates.”
“We are changing our policy as a direct result of the recent vote on I-502,” admitted Assistant Chief Jim Pugel in the same blog post. “We are deciding to take a much more worldly view of our applicants.”
Less than five percent of applicants were rejected for past pot use under the old rules, according to the cops, but nonetheless the policy change is “a big procedural shift for the department.”
“We’re on the forefront of change,” Reed claimed in the blog post. “There is still a lot more to reevaluate.”
But the Seattle cops want to make it clear that it will “continue to closely scrutinize applicants’ backgrounds — including other drug use — during the department’s rigorous hiring and testing process.”
Now, if they can just get rid of that silly “no pot for one year” rule… Toke of the Town wants Seattle cops to be able to experience the benefits of cannabis along with the rest of us! After all, we don’t see the SPD telling applicants they have to be alcohol-free and tobacco-free for a year before being a cop… and both of those are legal drugs like marijuana, in Washington state.