Can Firefighters Smoke Weed? (Explained)

Generally, the smoking of weed depends on the legality of a particular country. In most countries, weed smoking is prohibited. Although, recently, the laws on weed have significantly changed in the United States.

For instance, the use of cannabis has been considered medically legal in over 33 states and, in terms of recreation, has been rendered legal by 17 states. However, does it apply to everybody? It leads us to the question: Can firefighters smoke weed?

As a firefighter, weed smoking is not for you (whether you’re on duty or not), even though it is considered legal in your state. More on that later in the post.

Can Firefighters Smoke Weed?

We all know both the positive and negative effects of weed, it is left to you to choose if smoking weed will do you good. Of course, you also have to make sure your state legalizes it to avoid getting in trouble.

But those are for the general public or private individuals. But, how about firefighters: Are they permitted to smoke weed?

No, firefighters cannot smoke weed. It doesn’t matter if you are on duty; as long as you are a firefighter, weed smoking is not prohibited, even in states that legalize it. But because it is illegal in most states, its use is enough justification for terminating a firefighter.

Again, it is evident that any firefighter that smokes weed or under its influence on duty has committed an offense punishable by the termination of contract or job.

However, since weed has been legalized in several states for medicinal and recreational purposes, it is now assumed that anyone can take it. But that’s not entirely true.

Even though the federal government may alter its laws on weed use, there are certain people to who it applies or doesn’t apply, especially as it is a controlled element.

But again, it would help if you also considered that its legalization in most countries relatively has it that employers can still limit its use or place it on bounds for their workers.

Some people think that firefighters should be allowed to smoke weed off duty, similar to the alcohol rule. But, this perspective may not be accepted based on the testing process.

For instance, alcohol shows the intoxication level more accurately during testing than THC testing in weed. 

THC testing tends to stay for a long time in your system and still fails to correspond with the smoker or user’s present intoxicating condition (scientists are tirelessly working towards the accurate measurement of the THC effect).

Generally, it is in your best interest, as a firefighter, not to smoke or use any weed products, whether on or off duty.

Can Firefighters Be Ever Allowed to Smoke Weed?

Due to its THC mind-altering impairment risk, firefighters will possibly not be permitted to smoke or use weed while on duty. It is the same with the alcohol rule at work; even if it is legal, it won’t be allowed while you are at work.

While smoking and usage of weed are increasingly becoming legalized in some states, it is still debatable whether or not firefighters will be permitted to smoke or use it when they are not at work.

But for now, since there is no trusted impairment testing yet, you would still not be allowed to use it off duty as a firefighter.

Can I Be a Firefighter If I Smoked Weed?

You may still be allowed to be a firefighter if you were previously a weed smoker. What matters, in this case, is the period between when you last smoked it and when you stopped.

How often you use or smoke it will also be used to test your resolve before you can be accepted as a firefighter.

You might wonder if using or smoking weed stops you from being accepted as a firefighter, but many of these rules have been altered, and weed use is now legalized in most states.

However, if you are still using weed, even in legalized states, you will likely fail the drug testing and not be employed as a firefighter. But, if you have used it in the past and have stopped it for a long time, you still stand a chance of being hired as a firefighter.

Can Fire Departments Prohibit Firefighter Off-Duty Medical Weed Use?

This is a very challenging question, given that many states have laws that either prohibit or legalize the smoking of weed and others alike. For example, can a fire department maintain its laws against firefighter off-duty medical weed use, or should it allow such use?

However, as it stands, no state forbids employers from prohibiting the smoking or use of medical weed in the workplace or even permitting a worker that is under the influence of weed to work in their company, including the firefighters.

In fact, most states support employers placing a ban or punishment on workers for off-duty medical weed smoking or other use.

However, there are about 25 states where questions concerning the legality of weed use remain unclear, thus creating a conflict with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA).

Meanwhile, as recently as January 2022, several states like Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, and Wyoming have not placed any law that legalizes medical weed.

As far as these states are concerned, fire departments are permitted to continue with their zero-tolerance drug and alcohol rules, including punishing a worker for medical weed use.

In addition, it allows the usage of a blanket drug and alcohol testing policy. This also applies to 11 other states that have legalized medical weed or marijuana usage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you smoke weed and be a firefighter in Colorado?

Since weed or any marijuana has no medically recognized use under Federal Law, medical marijuana or products containing medical marijuana like weed is considered illegal for application.

Do firefighters get drug tested in Canada?

In most cases, when the hiring routine is going on, employees are made to go through drug tests. Going through future drug tests lies solely on the department and your employment agreement. But, during the hiring process, you have to be tested.

How long does a weed stay in your system?

Here, you’ll have to go through a series of tests. For saliva test: If you’ve been tested positive for weed, it can only stay up to 34 to 48 hours after previous use. The Urine test is the most common drug test: if you are not a frequent weed user, it will not be more than three days. You can test positive for 7 to 21 days after previous use for moderate users.

Can Denver firefighters smoke weed?

As long as they are under the federal grant under the DFWA, fire departments are allowed to restrict the possession and usage of illegal drugs in the workplace, including weed.

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