Until I-502 passed, the Seattle Police Department required that recruits be clean of marijuana usage for the last three years. The SPD is still beholden to federal laws, so they can't drop the requirement altogether. However, they are going to drop it to one year.
Had been considering easing up even before I-502 passed
This is another way in which I-502 is actually going to benefit law enforcement. Not only will officers be able to stop picking people up and jailing them for marijuana possession (which many police officers found silly and a waste of their time and jail space), but it will also make it easier for the SPD to get good qualified recruits.
Law enforcement is a job sector that is growing steadily across the country, but several factors have made it difficult to find qualified recruits. Law enforcement is dangerous, thankless work. It's a difficult job mentally, emotionally and physically. And many people who might otherwise have gone into law enforcement have chosen to enter the military instead, with its greater hiring bonuses and lower chance of being shot.
In fact, the Huffington Post reports that the SPD's former marijuana policy meant that they had to regretfully pass on two excellent recruits. "One was a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who had briefly been prescribed marijuana by a doctor for pain. Another was a former high-level college athlete who had smoked marijuana 20 months before applying."
Now, I know that a lot of marijuana fans are not exactly super-keen on the police. And I get that, I really do. However, if I-502 is going to stand, then it needs to have law enforcement behind it, not working against it. And not to point out the obvious, but the police aren't just annoying power-trip junkies out to harass you and your friends on a Friday night; they are also the first responders who might literally save your life one day.
The cops get a bad rap in some circles, but they are also the ones who rushed up into the Twin Towers on 9/11, and the ones who ran into Sandy Hook elementary school. It's okay to be a watchdog for police abuse, while still giving our first responders the respect that they deserve.
At this point, only the Seattle Police Department is loosening their marijuana restrictions. It remains to be seen whether other local police agencies across the state will follow suit.