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Nevada law enforcement regulators aim to revise the state’s employment policy, removing prior marijuana possession convictions as a disqualifying factor for police recruits when the amounts involved are now legal. The Nevada Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission submitted the proposed change following a recent vote to continue the rulemaking process. Currently, state guidelines prevent individuals with convictions involving moral turpitude or the unlawful use, sale, or possession of controlled substances from being employed as peace officers.

The commission’s proposal carves out an exception to this rule for individuals with marijuana convictions for use or possession that would not be prosecutable under the law from January 1, 2023, onwards. This policy adjustment, however, does not grant officers permission to use cannabis while on duty. The existing rules strongly emphasize a no-tolerance approach towards marijuana use, stating that it has no place in the policing profession. The current administration manual of POST urges law enforcement agencies in the state to adopt policies prohibiting both recreational and medical marijuana use, both on and off duty. It even restricts individuals holding state-issued medical cannabis patient cards from attending POST courses, including the Basic Training Academy. The fate of such language, discussed during a prior meeting in February, remains uncertain should the proposed regulation be adopted.

Nevada law enforcement, like other agencies and companies, has grappled with cannabis employment policies since the state legalized adult-use marijuana. In 2019, a Las Vegas police officer sued the department after being fired for testing positive for THC metabolites. In 2021, a district judge ruled the zero-tolerance cannabis policy as “untenable,” affirming that state statute protects employees’ lawful use of marijuana outside of work.