Chief’s Counsel: “Legal” or Not, Peace Officers Cannot Smoke Marijuana

At the end of 2016, approximately 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia had decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes, recreational purposes, or both. Each state’s laws vary to significant degrees, but one thing is constant—their laws do not make marijuana “legal.” States do not have the authority to legalize the drug; however, they can decriminalize it under their state laws.

However, the increase in states decriminalizing marijuana has raised the question of whether or not, in those states, law enforcement officers can use marijuana.