Post Episode 29: Marijuana legalization variations create mismatches in laws versus policies

Some employers, police agencies are changing policies due to marijuana legalization in some areas

InvestigateTV - In this month’s episode of Post, we look at reporting done about changing marijuana laws and how those changes are rolling out in various states and situations.

For example, in states that have legalized, some have determined they will wipe out convictions, but it’s taking longer than anticipated. In California, an LA Times investigation found while marijuana convictions were supposed to be cleared, the court has thousands of records to process.

Due to marijuana remaining federally illegal, some employers are still choosing to drug test and turn away applicants who test positive, even in legal states. That’s causing some issues in finding and retaining employees. Meantime, other employers are choosing to get rid of drug tests as a hiring stipulation.

Some police departments are also changing their canine training protocol because of the legalization of marijuana in some states. Angie Ricono from KCTV, Gray Television’s Kansas City affiliate, spoke to police departments deciding whether to invest in training future drug dogs in marijuana detection.

“For us, where we’re positioned in Missouri and Kansas, we have very different laws when it comes to marijuana. And we started seeing and hearing what’s taking place behind the scenes with police departments. Some are still very much intrigued in still having a dog that can sniff out marijuana, and other ones are sort of hedging their bets because it’s a long-term commitment when you’re buying these dogs: a lot of training, a lot of expense,” Ricono said.

The reason they wouldn’t want the dogs trained for extra drugs: if they sniff for marijuana and cannabis is legal, they may have issues with cases involving other drugs.

Stories/resources featured in this episode:

California was supposed to clear cannabis convictions. Tens of thousands are still languishing - Los Angeles Times

Job offers drop over conflicts between Illinois marijuana laws and company rules - WIFR

Judge tosses marijuana charge for man who legally purchased CBD product - WWBT

Post is a media review program from InvestigateTV, Gray Television’s streaming channel dedicated to in-depth and watchdog reporting. Post is presented in partnership with the journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors. The monthly program is taped at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, a partner of InvestigateTV.

Episode written and produced by: Justine Arens and Jamie Grey, InvestigateTV

Production by: Director Travis McMillen and production assistant Jared Rubenstein, RJI

Video Editing by: Jon Turnipseed, InvestigateTV

Graphics and Animations by: Owen Hornstein, InvestigateTV

Jamie Grey

Jamie Grey

Jamie is InvestigateTV's managing editor. She coordinates content and produces stories with a particular passion for digging into government programs and waste, health care policy and education.