Monday, October 19, 2009

RCMP hiring policy re: drug trafficking

Many police agencies in Canada could not staff themselves if they turned down every applicant who admitted past drug use. Usually this is limited to "soft" drugs, such as marijuana, LSD, psilocybin and MDMA. Departments often have formal or informal waiting periods, such as a mandatory two or three year gap from the date of last drug use.

The 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey showed that approximately 44% of citizens have used cannabis at one time or another. With all the baby boomers about to retire, police departments have no choice but to hire a former pot head or two.

This article was posted on the CBC News web site back in March, but it is worth reading if you haven't already. It talks about a recent change to the RCMP hiring policy that allows recruiters to ""to permit consideration of mitigating factors in all cases of criminal activity, which may include drug trafficking, etc." This expands the common practise of hiring former drug users to also include former drug sellers.

Canada's Bill C-15 is before the Senate. This bill would create mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offences. And so we have an odd situation. At the very time Canada is bringing in harsher penalties for selling drugs, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has changed its policy so it can hire former drug dealers.

Now, the article emphasizes the force has no plans to hire professional drug traffickers. So the policy change is likely to enable the hiring of those who engaged in accommodation sales (for example, a young woman who once sold a couple of dime bags to her friends).

To sum up the situation: if you're a small time drug dealer with plans of becoming a Canadian police officer, there is still hope for you. Unless you get arrested and convicted, in which case you may be subject to a mandatory jail sentence.


  1. Despite the dissonance, I think this is still a step in the right direction. As the number of LEOs with first hand experience in drugs increases, more officers may be able to speak against the WoD without fear of being isolated from their colleagues.

  2. I agree with you Dave, and hopefully my post didn't make it look like I thought the new policy was bad. I was highlighting the fact that most police agencies couldn't operate without recruiting former drug users and, in some cases, former drug dealers. Same deal with the Canadian military, now that I think about it.


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