MoCo Will Ask for Past-Use of Marijuana Standards to Be Adjusted For Police Officer Candidates


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich noted in his weekly message to the community that Montgomery County will ask the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to adjust their standards on past-use of marijuana for applicants to the county’s Police Department.

Elrich wrote that a report from the Maryland Attorney General was recently received clarifying that past cannabis use does not need to be considered in the certification of new officers. This opinion will be used to ask the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to adjust their standards accordingly, Elrich wrote.

Police applicants who have used cannabis in the previous year before submitting their application have been disqualified from becoming police officers to date, but Maryland legalized recreational use of Marijuana last year. See the full text, by Marc Elrich, below:

I am happy to report another development that will help us bring more qualified and interested candidates for the police department.

Cannabis use was approved by Maryland voters, and lawmakers established the regulations that last year brought the industry to market. What has not been addressed is how we deal with this new reality from an employer standpoint. We discovered that our police hiring practices needed revision. If adults are now allowed to legally buy and use marijuana, past use of the drug should not be an inhibitor to getting a job.

To date, police applicants who have used cannabis in the previous year before submitting their application have been disqualified from becoming police officers based on criteria from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission. Recently, we received a report from the Maryland Attorney General clarifying that we do not need to consider past cannabis use in certification of new officers.

We will now use this opinion to ask the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to adjust their standards accordingly. The law still requires current academy trainees and officers to be drug free. That will not change.

Recruiting officers is a challenge for police departments across the nation. This adjustment will allow us to expand the applicant pool, possibly catch up on low staffing levels and make us more competitive with nearby departments like those in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

If you think this change will impact your decision to apply with the Montgomery County Police Department or if you know of someone who could benefit, visit the police department website focused on career opportunities, which you can find here.

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