CBS 5 Investigates found very few agencies in Arizona have direct policies preventing first responders from obtaining medical marijuana cards.
Jay Fleming spent 15 years as a cop. Most of that time working undercover in narcotics. He didn't think much of drug dealers or users.
"They were the lowest of society, no one cared," said Jay Fleming, who now lives in Nolan Springs, Arizona. "If one killed another - great - another doper out of the scene. And that was pretty much the attitude back them. If they killed each other off, who cared?"
But these days he spends most his time smoking pot. And as a medical marijuana card holder, he's not doing anything illegal.
"I used to get these shooting electrical pains in my feet and now that I use medical marijuana I don't get that," said Fleming.
Fleming is among a select group of police, judges, prosecutors and DEA agents that believe drugs should be legalized. They are members of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP.
But more specifically, Fleming believes any police officer, firefighter or medic should be allowed to have a medical marijuana card and use marijuana to manage pain, when not on duty or on-call. His stance is highly controversial.
Now two years after Arizona voters approved marijuana for medical purposes, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves admitted the DPS still does not have a policy.
"I think all law enforcement in Arizona is struggling with this to kind of deal with it," Graves said.
Graves said DPS defers to federal law when its officers are involved.
"It's difficult, that's probably why it's taken us a long time to work on this policy," said Graves.
CBS 5 Investigates found that DPS is not alone. Most agencies across the state do not have policies, including in Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Peoria and Mesa. CBS 5 Investigates found only three with specific policies.
Gilbert Fire Department allows employees to have medical marijuana cards, but may reassign or put the employee on paid leave.
Yuma does allow city employees, including fire fighters and EMTs, to use medical marijuana - as long as it is off-duty.
The only agency with a clear cut policy prohibiting officers from having medical marijuana cards is the Chandler Police Department.
"This is cut and dry," Chandler Sgt. Joe Favazzo said. "It's an illegal substance. It will not be tolerated by our department. There's no place in law enforcement for the use or possession of a Schedule 1 drug that is illegal by federal standard, which marijuana is."
Sgt. Joe Favazzo said developing the policy was a no brainer. Officers are sworn to uphold state and federal laws.
"If you have to use medications to get through your day for pain you probably shouldn't be at work if you're a firefighter or police officer," said Favazzo.
But for guys like Jay Fleming that have lived with pain, he believes medical marijuana could extend an officer or firefighters career.
"When they are at home and off I think they should be able to take care of their pain," Fleming said.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
5 InvestigatesMedical marijuana rules unclear for First RespondersMore>>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:51:03 GMT
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard."Situations like this where there is a healthMore >>
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:45:01 GMT
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts. They say they voted against changing the membership standards because 85% of the 2,700 constituentsMore >>
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:45:32 GMT
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated. "The Augusta Commission in a meetingMore >>
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:53:19 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:54:11 GMT
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.Robert Donald Holden, Jr, of Hephzibah, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 3500 blockMore >>
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:00:17 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:43:19 GMT
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.That's off of Deans Bridge Road.Residents in the area say that two people were shot and taken to the hospital.More >>
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:07:55 GMT
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening. "It hit me hard because this was like another family to me," saidMore >>
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:53:59 GMT
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.The Aiken County Sheriff's Office received a call just after 7:30pm Thursday evening about a pedestrian beingMore >>
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:03 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:03:57 GMT
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defenseMore >>
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defense attorney who represented one of the GTMO prisoners. More >>