Drug Policy

Mile High Cops

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The first obstacle to securing a position in the CIA is its strict policy against hiring anyone who has used illegal drugs. Apparently, local police do not face nearly so stringent a requirement. Jesse Katz of the Los Angeles Times recently obtained redacted versions of the applications filled out by Denver's 80 new police recruits last year. Fifty-two of them–that's 65 percent–confessed to prior drug use. In surveys of the general population, by contrast, only about half of 18- to-34-year-olds admit to having used an illegal drug.

One might hope that this would make the Mile High City's cops less fervent drug warriors, but there is little evidence of this. In the past year, these zealous new recruits and their colleagues have made 6,600 arrests on drug charges.