Hiring haze: Marijuana legalization’s impact on employment policies in VirginiaPosted by On

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In the year-plus since marijuana was legalized in Virginia, law enforcement agencies have taken a variety of approaches to deal with the impact of the substance on employment policies.

As of July 1, 2021, Virginians aged 21 and older could possess small amounts of marijuana legally. But they could also still lose their jobs for recreational use, depending on their employer’s drug policy.

In Hanover County, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said that slight changes were made to the agency’s hiring process in the aftermath of marijuana legalization. Although the agency no longer inquires about marijuana usage during the hiring process, the zero-tolerance policy for those who become or are already employed remains in effect.

“Members shall not consume, ingest, or smoke marijuana, or any other form of concentrated THC, medical or otherwise, while on or off-duty,” the policy stated.

A spokesperson said that he was unaware of any impact this may have had on hiring or recruitment.

Meanwhile, in Henrico County, the “use of marijuana, hash or hash oil within the past 12 months” remained a disqualification for prospective officers with the police division. Public Information Officer Lt. Matthew Pecka said he could not speculate on the correlation between marijuana and hiring.

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