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Alaskan Police are Banned from Working in the Legal Weed Industry

Cops in the Last Frontier looking to moonlight in the cannabis industry risk losing their badge.

by Zach Harris

If you’ve ever been to a nightclub and wondered what those giant security dudes do during the daylight hours, it’s a pretty good chance that they’re the same cops tasked to protect and serve your community. Despite the dangers of the job, police officers are still government employees, and often rely on second jobs to make ends meet. In Alaska, the all-cash recreational cannabis industry has created a host of new security and armed transport jobs, but a new directive from the state’s police oversight council is making sure that cops won’t see any greenbacks from the state’s green rush.

According to the Alaska Dispatch News, a decision from the Alaska Police Standards Council said that police officers working in the cannabis industry is "incompatible with the law enforcement profession."

The decision arose after the Council’s executive director Bob Griffiths heard rumors that cops were looking into second jobs in the cannabis industry.

"We kind of got word that there might be individuals that were considering that as an option for a second career, so to speak," Griffiths told the Dispatch. "So we thought it'd be a good idea to be proactive."

Under Alaska’s police code of conduct, officers were already barred from using or possessing cannabis, so budtending and transportation jobs were already out of the question, but the Council’s new decision will prevent cops from even taking jobs on the periphery of the legal weed industry.

As for reasoning, Griffiths and the council felt that working with cannabis might harm the “moral character” of the state’s officers.

"It's the council's direction to me that they find anyone engaging in [a marijuana business] would lack good moral character," Griffiths said.

Of course, Griffiths also told the Dispatch that an officer owning or working at a bar or liquor store in their downtime would be completely fine.


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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