California law enforcement officials are revising employment policies for police officers to remove questions about job applicants’ prior marijuana use in accordance with a bill the governor signed in October.
The law, which builds on previously enacted cannabis employment protections, formally takes effect on January 1. But in advance of the effective date, the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training said in a memo last week that it’s proactively amended application forms to adhere to the new policy.
In addition to prohibiting discrimination against most workers who use cannabis off-duty, the law “makes it unlawful for an employer to request information from an applicant relating to their prior use of cannabis,” the commission said.
As such, several forms “have been modified to remove inquiries about a candidate’s prior cannabis use,” the memo says.
The forms previously asked candidates whether they’ve used any illicit drugs in the past six months or in their lifetime, but now contain revised language that says there’s no need to answer the question if the only substance was cannabis.
Job applicants for peace officer positions in the state must still disclose information about prior convictions, including those that involved cannabis, the commission said.
The California memo was released after Nevada officials adopted a proposal to amend hiring standards for police officers to allow job candidates who were previously disqualified for certain marijuana-related offenses to now be eligible for law enforcement positions.
The Nevada Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training voted to approve the change, revising regulations around hiring that currently prevent a person from becoming a peace officer if they have been convicted of an offense involving the unlawful use, sale or possession of a controlled substance.
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