Smoking in the Fire Department: A Comprehensive Guide

Firefighters are like other humans, and they smoke marijuana. Peer pressure and policy have significantly changed the smoking habits of firefighters. The smoking rates among firefighters have significantly declined since the 90s, but too many are adding risks to the already risky job by smoking. In the 1990s, the smoking rate among firefighters was between 40 and 50 percent, which was higher than the general people. According to recent research, it is estimated that 13.6 percent of firefighters are smokers, while 17.4 percent are volunteer firefighters. 

The low rate of smoking among firefighters is a positive sign, but given that they inhale carcinogens and other harmful chemicals in a cigarette is a bad idea. It is essential to minimize the trend of smoking among firefighters as much as possible. 

Federal labor regulations on the use of Cannabis 

firefighter smoking weed

No state presently mandates that employers allow employees to consume medicinal marijuana at work or be under the effect of the drug while at work. Several states also permit employers to penalize any employee who uses medical marijuana outside work hours; nevertheless, the answer to the above query is unclear in at least 25 states. The Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act also conflicts with several state laws (DFWA).

State Regulations about the Uses of Weed for Firefighters

Can firefighters smoke weed is a common question asked in the firefighting profession. The fire departments in the United States that are federal grant recipients are required to follow DFWA regulations.

  • Prohibit the manufacture, possession, dispensation, or distribution of a controlled substance (weed) in the workplace and notify this in a statement. 
  • Provide every employee with a copy of the statement.
  • Notify that all the employees need to abide by the statement.
  • Establish a drug-free awareness program to keep the employees informed of the effects of drug abuse at the workplace. 
  • Discipline the employees and require them to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. 
  • Encourage the employees to maintain a drug-free workplace. 

Regardless of what any state law says on the rights of medicinal marijuana users to employment protections, agencies are required by the DFWA to forbid the use of medical marijuana at work. However, the DFWA does not mandate grant recipients to forbid staff members from using medicinal marijuana away from the office.

Can firefighters smoke weed with a medical card?

People assume that since marijuana is now legal for medical and recreational purposes in many places, anyone can use it there. That might not be the case, though. Even in jurisdictions where it is legal, firefighters are not permitted to smoke marijuana, whether on or off duty. 

There is no doubt to the question – can a firefighter have a medical card? Sure a firefighter can have a medical card, but the card does not allow them to use every cannabis product. It comes with certain terms and conditions.

Since marijuana is considered illegal by the federal government, using weed might be a good excuse to fire a firefighter. Obviously, any firefighter operating while impaired by THC (marijuana) is illegal and a firing offense. 

Since marijuana is a prohibited substance, even if federal rules governing its usage alter, they may still impact who is and isn’t permitted to consume it. Therefore, firefighters are not allowed to smoke even with a medical card. 

Can firefighters take CBD Oil?

delta 8 THC vape cartridge

Full Spectrum CBD Oil is a type of CBD oil that contains THC as well as the entire range of chemical elements found in hemp. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains a very small amount of THC, which could make its consumer test positive for drugs. Therefore, it would appear that CBD use in the fire service is largely prohibited if this is the case.

There are CBD products, though, that have the THC completely filtered out. A product made by some companies is known as CBD isolate oil, and it removes all other compounds from hemp plants except for CBD. So, all that’s left is a CBD product that won’t result in a negative drug test. 

However, according to the United States, Food and Drug Administration, cannabis plants and their derivatives containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer in the category of controlled substances. While cannabis products like CBD that meet this definition are no longer controlled under the CSA, they must still meet the applicable requirements of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. 

Therefore, it is still unclear whether firefighters can take CBD oil, as it depends on the composition of THC and other compounds in the oil. However, firefighters should generally not use any cannabis product or derivative while performing their duties. 

Final Note 

Smoking is allowed at workplaces in the U.S. but only in the smoking zones. A cigarette can cause a fire and can prove extremely life-threatening in some situations. Firefighters are not allowed to smoke on duty, as they are already in a profession where they need to extinguish the fire. Therefore, as a social responsibility and for the safety of others, firefighters should not smoke while on a firefighting mission. 

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Rajita Gupta

With over 15 years of experience in the cannabis sector, Rajita has a uniquely wry voice that shines through in her content. She is a passionate advocate for the use of marijuana and other holistic approaches to health care. She is dedicated to offering relevant information on cannabis while ensuring a compassionate and professional experience.

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