Lawyers, if a cop is prescribed a card for medicinal marijuana in California how exactly would that work?

Marijuana bust – over 50 pounds
September 20, 2010
Marijuana Growing Out of Control!
September 20, 2010
Medicinal Marijuana
Joe B asked:

Could he do it on duty just as he could take a prescription pill on duty?

Could (s)he just be smoking joints in the police uniform or would federal law somehow intervene in this matter, although they’re paid by the state?


  1. hamrogers says:

    Since a condition of employment is to not use marijuana (or any other drug the federal government bans) he would be in violation of his workplace rules and could be terminated.

    It might seem unfair, but it’s really common for uniformed personnel to have rules like this. It’s perfectly legal to join a political rally, but if you’re a Sailor or Soldier and you’re at a political rally in uniform you can get in trouble, simply because that’s one of the terms of employment with the service. (going to one out of uniform is fine).

    So even if marijuana were perfectly legal, if your employer says you cannot do it as a condition of employment and then you test positive during the next drug test (or are seen in public smoking it) you could be out of a job.

  2. sensible_man says:

    Government employees take drug/alcohol tests just like anyone else. While alcohol is legal, it cannot be present when a test is administered. Same with MJ. If an officer “could” get the card, the reasons would probably be such that he can no longer meet physical requirements of his job.

  3. Mutt says:

    i do not know of ANY job that will let you take (while on the job) prescription medication that can affect your performance. This even goes for many opiate derivative pain killers (Vicodin, Oxycotin, etc.). And there is no way you can tell me that marijuana is less mind altering than these.

    Also, doctors do not prescribe marijuana as they prescribe other medication. The federal government does not allow it, and in order for a doctor to prescribe ANY medication, they must be licensed by the DEA. Instead, it’s a “recommendation” that the person be allowed to smoke marijuana for their ailment. Because it is not actually prescribed, an employer can legally fire a person for having marijuana in their system.

  4. MikeGolf says:

    They would be fired.

    Just as anybody using ‘medical marijuana’ would be fired by my company. As long as it is not an FDA recognised medication – it is a drug without any _proven_ medical benefits.

  5. Once Upon A Spliff says:

    There are very few jobs that would allow you to smoke marijuana at work regardless of what the job is.

    I think if the police officer was prescribed marijuana he would be allowed to use it at home but his behaviour may has repercussions so he must do it sensibly and I assume privately.

  6. halsca says:

    Conflict of interest. One of the job requirements of a police officer is they don’t use illegal drugs. While California allows for medicinal marijuana the federal government as of yet doesn’t.

    Then you have the fact that the vast majority of police officers in the country are required to not only carry firearms but be qualified to use them. Using a schedule 1 substance like marijuana is against federal law, the officer in question would no no longer be qualified to carry his or her duty weapon.

    I can’t see a police officer putting in for a cannabis card even if he qualifies, besides the hypocrisy of it the man also risks violating federal firearms laws too. In fact one of the questions (12e) on ATF form 4473 specifically asks if you use marijuana or any other legal drugs.

  7. Robert S says:

    If he/she is in such a condition that he needs this, how could he/she continue, physically, as an officer.

  8. Alex S. says:

    not only can’t they do it while working, but they can get fired if drug tested, regardless of holding a prescription.