Cops and Medical Marijuana: Can Police Officers Be Prescribed Medical Marijuana? - Leafbuyer (2022)

Cops and Medical Marijuana: Can Police Officers Be Prescribed Medical Marijuana? - Leafbuyer (1)

The rising tide of marijuana legalization has prompted many police departments to clarify their position on whether cops can be prescribed medical marijuana. Most states don't have protections for employees that use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. Currently, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I illegal substance, making employees, including police officers, vulnerable to penalties.

Because police officers are required to uphold state and federal laws, cops that want to use medical marijuana are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Many police departments have sided with federal law by adopting a zero-tolerance policy on medical marijuana use by law enforcement officers.

Other cities are more lenient as long as consumption doesn't affect a police officer's work performance. Amidst a shortage of qualified police applicants, some police departments across the nation and beyond are revisiting their no-tolerance policies. Generally, however, medical cannabis use is a disqualifying position

Table of Contents

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Background Checks

Cops and Medical Marijuana: Can Police Officers Be Prescribed Medical Marijuana? - Leafbuyer (2)

Most police departments perform background checks on applicants to ensure that they meet all the qualifications and have no major criminal patterns, including histories of marijuana use. Police departments may use the polygraph test to uncover past criminal behavior. Police departments will handle each applicant's past drug use on a case-by-case basis based on the following criteria:

  • Recency of marijuana use
  • Frequency of usage
  • Other drugs used
  • Involvement in sale and distribution

Police department policies on cops and medical marijuana vary. Some departments forbid cops getting medical marijuana prescriptions, while others are open to cops that only use medical marijuana for a qualifying condition. Most police departments, however, do require at least a pre-employment drug screening. Police officers can also be drug tested after a driving or shooting incident on duty, or randomly tested depending on the department. As mainstream attitudes toward cannabis change, so do employer's drug policies.


Proposition 64 allows individuals over 21 to grow, possess, and consume cannabis for personal use, although federal law prohibits this. In addition, the proposition amended California's Health & Safety Code 11364.45 to read as follows:

"Nothing in Section 11362.1 shall be construed or interpreted to amend, repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt: The rights and obligations of public and private employers to maintain a drug and alcohol-free workplace or require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana in the workplace, or affect the ability of employers to have policies prohibiting the use of marijuana by employees and prospective employees, or prevent employers from complying with state or federal law."

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Essentially, policies around medical cannabis use for police officers vary by agency. Many agencies will enforce a drug-free workplace to remain federally compliant and be eligible for federal grants.


In Utah, police recruits can use medical marijuana and apply to be police officers. Before this change, police academy applicants couldn't apply if they had used cannabis within the past two years. Under the relatively lax regulations, applicants must show their marijuana use is legitimate and disclose the products they use.

Academy personnel will crossreference the products with a list assembled by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to see if the product has been approved for use. While not all products will be on there, applicants can prove that the product is for legal use. Each application will be decided on a case-by-case basis.


Many Arizona agencies, like others across the nation, did not have specific policies on whether cops could be prescribed medical marijuana cards. Only a select few city agencies took a stance on marijuana use. Gilbert Fire Department allowed its employees to have medical marijuana cards, but risk getting reassigned or being put on paid leave.

Yuma's first-responders can use medical marijuana as long as it's not during work hours. The Chandler Police Department was the first and only agency in Arizona with a firm stance against medical marijuana use by cops.

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In 2018, the Chicago Police Department opened up the door for new recruits who have consumed weed in the last three years. Mayor Rahm Emanual stepped up police officer hires, many of which were disqualified for drug-related reasons. In addition to relaxed marijuana policies, Adderall use was also included in the updated policy.

Not all cannabis use will be tolerated. The police department will inquire about the specific reasons for past cannabis consumption. If the cannabis consumption was due to youthful indiscretion, then the police department would not immediately disqualify an applicant.


The New Haven Police Department updated their policies in March 2018 stating that applicants who have "illegally sold, produced, cultivated, or transported any controlled substance, unless the individual was living in a state where or medical marijuana is legal; have used a controlled substance other than marijuana in a state where it had been legalized in the last year; or are currently prescribed medical marijuana, will be disqualified."


The Seattle Police Department changed its rules mandating new recruits to be weed-free anywhere from three years to one year. The police department stated that the new policy was amended to recruit police officers "who resemble the people we protect."

Marijuana Use and Firearms

Cops and Medical Marijuana: Can Police Officers Be Prescribed Medical Marijuana? - Leafbuyer (4)

Recent cannabis legalization didn't change the federal government's no-tolerance policy on marijuana use and firearms. Even in legal states, individuals can't be marijuana users and buy or possess a firearm. Police departments may deem recruits or current personnel ineligible to work if they consume weed. According to Title 18, Section 922 of the U.S. code:

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"It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act."

For this reason, police departments can determine that a cop that uses medical marijuana can't own a gun, which is necessary for their work.

How Long Should Cops Avoid Weed Before Work?

In Canada, some provinces have instituted policies requiring police officers to abstain from cannabis use for a certain amount of time before their shift starts. In Toronto, cops aren't allowed to smoke or vape pot 28 days before clocking in. Calgary stands out by being the only province to prohibit off-duty cannabis use by cops.

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Many police officers consider cannabis bans arbitrary and unreasonable citing a lack of similar policies for alcohol or some prescription medications. Ultimately, the effect of cannabis on an individual depends on the dose, frequency of consumption, among other factors. More research is needed to analyze the potential negative effects of medical marijuana use on individuals with safety-sensitive jobs. Research on the long-term effects of cannabis use and THC impairment levels will guide future policies.

Advocates for Cannabis Use Among Cops

Cops and Medical Marijuana: Can Police Officers Be Prescribed Medical Marijuana? - Leafbuyer (5)
Police departments have had a hard time developing policies around cannabis use for cops. One of the most recent legislative efforts supporting research into the use of medical marijuana by police officers occurred in 2017.
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Congressman Matt Gaetz, the amendment's sponsor, voiced his support for medical cannabis treatment of mental health and PTSD in a U.S. House Judiciary Committee. His amendment would have required federal agencies to author a report on the effects of cannabis use to dictate department policies.

Some marijuana advocates who aren't public servants have also supported medical cannabis use for cops. Advocates argue that allowing police officers to consume cannabis could lower their off-duty alcohol use and prevent alcohol-related offenses among cops.

For now, getting a medical cannabis prescription doesn't necessarily disqualify an individual from becoming a police officer. It'll be harder to find a police department that has a relaxed medical marijuana requirement, but not impossible. Hopeful cops, however, are advised to steer clear of medical marijuana to improve their chances of landing a job.


Can you be a police officer with a medical card in Florida? ›

As a general rule, there is no requirement to accommodate officers with a medical marijuana card, nor are departments required to allow officers to be a caretaker or have any role in the operation of a medical marijuana distribution facility or network.

How do I get a Cancard? ›

To apply, patients need to meet certain criteria including having a diagnosis (confirmed by their GP) that is currently being prescribed for privately and having tried two types of prescription medication or have discussed and discounted these options based on side effects or dependence concerns.

What is Project twenty21? ›

The largest observational medical cannabis research project in Europe.

Where can I smoke with my medical card in Missouri? ›

Residents with a medical marijuana card may use cannabis in private settings. That means you can smoke in your tent or RV with no problem. Just make sure to bring your card, and double check that you're in a state park and NOT a federal one.

Can you have a concealed carry and medical card in Florida 2022? ›

Medical Marijuana and a Concealed Weapon License

Before we delve much deeper, we want to assure you that in Florida, it is legal to have a CWL and medical marijuana card at the same time. One does not preclude the other, contrary to popular belief.

How many dispensaries can you visit a day Colorado? ›

Like Arizona and Colorado, the number of dispensaries you can visit in one day in Illinois is unlimited; however, there is a limit on how much can be purchased.

Do police accept Cancard? ›

Cancard aims to bridge the gap between patients, doctors and the police. The card allows for the police to exercise discretion by understanding that the patient caught in possession is medicating for their condition.

What medical conditions qualify for Cancard? ›

Conditions eligible for the Cancard include some of those falling under the categories of cancer, palliative care, gastrointestinal, pain, neurological, and psychiatric.

Can anyone apply for a Cancard? ›

You must be over 18 to apply for Cancard.

Who owns Lyphe group? ›

LYPHE Group was founded in 2018 shortly before the UK government legalised access to medical cannabis. Serial entrepreneurs, Rob Reid and Stephen Murphy, remain the largest shareholders of the company today.

Can I get Sativex in the NHS? ›

Sativex is now approved for use on the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for some people with MS. It's not recommended for people under 18.

Who can prescribe medical Marijuanas in UK? ›

If you have been diagnosed with one of these qualifying conditions, you may be able to apply for medical cannabis in the UK. The first step is to speak to your GP and see if they will refer you to a specialist doctor or book a consultation with a private medical cannabis clinic.

Can cops see if you have a medical card in Missouri? ›

Who has access to Missouri Marijuana Card records? Missouri law enforcement agencies, the Department of Health, and Senior Services have access to a data base for legal Missouri Medical Marijuana Card Holders.

Can you own a gun with a medical card in Missouri 2022? ›

Gun Ownership/Purchase for Cardholders

Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution, which authorizes medical use of marijuana in Missouri, does not reference or prohibit the possession or purchase of firearms.

How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time in Missouri? ›

Medical Marijuana Purchases

Qualifying patients or their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana, or its equivalent, in a 30-day period. Patients may only possess more if two independent physicians state in their certifications a larger amount is required.

Can I own a gun if my wife has a medical card in Florida? ›

802 virtually any method of consuming marijuana, medical or not, classifies that individual as an 'unlawful user'. When that section comes up in the ATF Form 4478 an answer of yes prohibits you from purchasing a firearm and maintaining ownership of a firearm.

How many plants can you grow with a medical card in Florida 2022? ›

The measure would have amended Amendment 2 (2016), which legalized medical marijuana in Florida, to redefine "medical use" under the measure to include growing up to nine marijuana plants.

Can you have a medical card and a CDL in Florida? ›

Florida law requires all CDL drivers to have a valid DOT medical card, unless the type of commerce you drive qualifies as 'Excepted'. You must meet the Federal DOT medical certificate requirements. You must meet state of Florida medical certification requirements.

Can I go to multiple dispensaries in one day in Colorado? ›

Q: Can I make multiple purchases on the same day? A: Yes. The only cap on how much you can buy is the legal possession limit: No one who is not a medical-marijuana patient can possess more than an ounce of marijuana at a time. But that's up to the customer to abide by.

Do dispensaries share information with the government Colorado? ›

Marijuana dispensaries in Colorado will not share your personal information with state or federal authorities.

Can you bring your child into a dispensary Colorado? ›

Dear Lana: You can go through the door of a dispensary if you're under 21, but don't expect to get into the shopping area. Colorado dispensaries require visitors to show their IDs before they pass through the waiting room, whether they want to buy something or not, and being with an adult who's of age doesn't matter.

Can you get a Cancard for anxiety? ›

cancard™ now

There is currently no way of identifying legitimate medicinal use for people before emotional distress has been caused and resources have been wasted. Tens of thousands of people have joined Cancard™ to help support them with their consumption.

Whats a CAN card? ›

Cancard is a holographic photo ID card which has been developed in collaboration with GPs and is verified at the patient's surgery. The card has been created for people who suffer from conditions that private healthcare clinicians have been prescribing for since 1 November 2018.

Is Cancard Recognised in Scotland? ›

The Scottish Government does not support the Cancard system for a number of reasons; I am happy to correspond with her on that. Beatrice Wishart is right to say that people who are in receipt of those prescriptions should have clarity about what the checks are.

Does CBD do anything? ›

There is moderate evidence that CBD can improve sleep disorders, fibromyalgia pain, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. People report that oral CBD helps relieve anxiety and pain and also leads to better sleep.

Is CBD a drug? ›

Overview. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. One specific form of CBD is approved as a drug in the U.S. for seizures. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

What is CBD oil Good For? ›

People use CBD oil and other CBD-based products for different reasons, including reducing pain, controlling anxiety, and managing seizures. Although studies report few side effects with CBD use, its effectiveness for various medical conditions requires further research.

What is the cost of Sativex? ›

It includes two components of marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. According to Bayer Canada, the cost of Sativex per vial is $124.95 (base price). Each vial contains approximately 51 sprays. The average dose per day is five sprays at an average cost of $12.25 per day.

What is spasticity in MS? ›

Overview. Spasticity refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms (sustained muscle contractions or sudden movements). It is one of the more common symptoms of MS.

How does Sativex feel? ›

Sativex is a cannabis-plant extract delivering nearly 1:1 Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) by oromucosal spray. It has been suggested that CBD attenuates THC-induced tachycardia, anxiety, and euphoria.

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? ›

Long story short, yes, CBD may yield a positive result on a drug test. There are certain actions you can take to determine whether the product you're buying contains the lowest amount of THC possible, but there's no guarantee that the labeling is accurate due to the lack of regulation of CBD products.

Does CBD help with arthritis? ›

The American Arthritis Foundation reports that CBD may be a beneficial option for people with arthritis and recommends discussing all treatments with your healthcare provider. For many people, this non-psychotropic, mild cannabinoid can offer relief from the chronic pain of osteoarthritis with minimal side effects.

What is the downside of CBD oil? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

Can a felon work at a dispensary in Missouri? ›

Those with felonies within the last five years, certain class A misdemeanors within the last two, and those on parole for a felony or under indictment for a disqualifying offense are not eligible.

Can you get a medical card with a felony in Missouri? ›

Thankfully, patients with criminal records are not barred from obtaining a medical marijuana card. This means that patients with criminal records can see licensed medical marijuana doctors if they have a qualifying condition.

Do you have to have a medical card to work at a dispensary? ›

While no specific cards or licenses are required to be employed by a licensed cannabis facility, there are a few restrictions. Additional background check requirements: "Such individual must submit a full set of fingerprints to the department or to a vendor, entity, or agency authorized by s.

Can you get fired for failing a drug test with a medical card in Missouri? ›

The answer is sadly yes. Getting a job with a medical marijuana card is not a specified protection under Amendment 2, and due to clashing federal law, employers are in the position to terminate or deny employment because of this.

Can you own a gun after your medical card expires in PA? ›

So, you have received your medical marijuana card, now what? Once you become an unlawful user of a controlled substance, you become a person prohibited from possessing, purchasing or transferring firearms. Likewise, you will be unable to renew your Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms.

Can nurses have a medical card 2020 Missouri? ›

Doctors and nurses can have medical marijuana cards, but additional job-related risks are involved for medical professionals that don't apply to the average user.

Do dispensaries track how much you buy Missouri? ›

Dispensaries will work with METRC to ensure that you do not exceed your purchase limits for any 30-day period. You don't need to worry about accidentally purchasing more than 32 MMEs per month as your dispensary will prohibit you from purchasing more than this amount.

How many plants can you grow in Missouri with a medical card? ›

Licensed patients authorized to cultivate, or licensed caregivers authorized to cultivate on their behalf may cultivate up to six (6) flowering marijuana plants, six (6) nonflowering marijuana plants (over fourteen (14) inches tall), and six (6) clones (plants under fourteen (14) inches tall) at any given time in a ...

Where can I smoke with my medical card in Missouri? ›

Residents with a medical marijuana card may use cannabis in private settings. That means you can smoke in your tent or RV with no problem. Just make sure to bring your card, and double check that you're in a state park and NOT a federal one.

Can you travel with medical Marijuanas in Florida? ›

So having a Florida medical Marijuana card will do nothing when going through TSA or crossing state lines in an airplane. That applies even if you are going to just Miami to Orlando or Fort Lauderdale to Sarasota.

Can you go into a dispensary without a card in Florida? ›

Can I Go to a Dispensary Without a Card in Florida? No, you won't be able to go to any dispensaries in Florida without a Florida medical marijuana card. Recreational cannabis has not been legalized in Florida, which means that only qualified MMJ patients can go to dispensaries.

Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives in Florida? ›

Can you go into a dispensary without a card in Florida? No, you will need to be registered with the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to shop at any Florida dispensary.

Can police have medical cards in Oklahoma? ›

Police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and agents of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority are barred from obtaining a medical marijuana license, and, by extension, the subsequent employment protections.

Can you own a gun with a medical card in Florida 2021? ›

Medical Marijuana patients under Federal Law are prohibited from purchasing new firearms during the duration of the term of their medical marijuana card. The reason for this are in fact federal laws not Florida laws.

Can you bring a friend to a dispensary in Florida? ›

Medical Marijuana Doctor Issuing Recommendations for Patients Near Tampa, St. Petersburg and All of Florida. The short answer is no, a friend cannot buy medical marijuana product on your behalf; however, a legal representative/caregiver is allowed to buy your medicinal product for you.

How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time in Florida? ›

Currently, there are over 200 dispensaries statewide. As we mentioned above, medical cardholders in Florida can purchase 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 35 days.

Does Florida allow out of state medical cards? ›

According to the NCSL page on state medical marijuana laws, Florida does not recognize patients with medical marijuana cards from other states.

What illness qualifies for medical Marijuanas? ›

Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions
  • Terminal illness.
  • Cancer.
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV Positive)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Decompensated cirrhosis.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig's Disease)
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease.

Can a felon work in a dispensary in Oklahoma? ›

There is no way around these rules as applicants must disclose all ownership. Dispensary applicants will not qualify for licenses if they have a felony conviction within five years (nonviolent felony convictions within the past two years are excluded), inmates, or currently incarcerated.

Can you get a temporary medical card in Oklahoma? ›

Now, it is worth mentioning that if you're not a resident of Oklahoma and simply visiting, you can get a temporary card. A temporary medical marijiana license in Oklahoma is valid for 30 days. It may also be renewed.


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