Drug addiction and abuse in the United States has reached epidemic levels, and marijuana is the most used and abused illegal drug. With the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, marijuana use has increased even further. Even though the legalization of medical marijuana occurred in November, 2000, and legalization of recreational marijuana use has occurred even more recently, November 2012, the full effect of the implementation of recreational marijuana on police agencies in Colorado remains unknown. Although Colorado law enforcement organizations will soon face the challenge of hiring officers with a history of past marijuana use, many Colorado departments have not modified recruitment and hiring policies. Coleman and Goodman’s snowballing sampling technique resulted in a sample of 20 Colorado police officers who discussed department policies that allow for the hiring of officers with a history of prior marijuana use. This discussion included their attitudes toward coworkers hired under such policy and factors that may influence those feelings. Data were collected through direct interaction by in-depth, one-on-one, informal and unstructured interviews. Participant interviews were transcribed, uploaded to NVivo 11, and coded. Results of data analysis showed participants did not have adverse thoughts or feelings about the departmental policies that allowed for the hiring of an individual with a history of marijuana use, as long as those individuals met departmental standards and recreational marijuana policy. However, some factors may influence their perception of the police officer, such as how long the police officer used marijuana, how long the police officer had gone without using marijuana, and the nature in which the police officer used marijuana (experimental, recreational/social, or chronic). Knowledge of these perceptions may help departments create new hiring policies or modify those that already exist.
|Commitee:||Delisi, PhD, Matthew, Klostermann, PhD, Keith|
|Department:||Public Service Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law enforcement, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Colorado, Police officer, Recreational marijuana|
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