Archive for January 15th, 2011

Ask a Cop?: Becoming a cop with a past drug history..

—–Original Message—–
From: Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 11:31 PM
Subject: Becoming a cop with a past drug history

I live in California and i understand that most agencies require a polygraph test pre-hire. My question is i am 22 and have used marijuana a few months at a time for the past 2 yrs, my estimate is maybe a total of 6 months altogether in 2 years, am i automatically disqualified. Because i wanted to start the academy which doesn’t begin for 8 months and the course is 10 months long so i will of be cleaned for 18 months is there any way i can get hired or am i wasting my time. any information will be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Here are some answers for you:

Some agencies may not consider hiring someone with any type of drug use in the past several years while others are more lenient for occasional marijuana use (which is almost legal now anyway). It all depends on the agency. But one thing they will all have in common is wanting honesty. If the polygraph results show any type of deception you probably wouldn’t be considered for the job. Many of my officer friends had smoked marijuana when they were younger and were honest during their polygraph so the prior marijuana use didn’t affect them becoming police officers. Most departments understand that young people experiment with some drugs and consider it "life experience". As long as a reasonable amount of time has passed since your last use and you are honest, your chances of becoming a cop should not be hampered.

I remember one of the recruits in my police academy stated had been honest about using several types of drugs in his youth, and even admitted selling some drugs when younger. The department considered it "life experience" and because he was so honest they hired him anyway. While prior use of meth, cocaine, or other drugs / sales that are felonies are an automatic denial for most agencies, others may appreciate the honesty and give someone a chance as long as time has passed since the last time someone used. There is no "set standard" for prior drug use, it all depends on the department.

If all it was, was an occasional marijuana use, and you can honestly tell the agency you are applying at that you haven’t smoked marijuana in the last year or two, I’m sure your odds would be the same as everyone else applying for the job. Good Luck!


Even cocaine is not a disqualifier. However, try to explain why you are smoking marijuana? Medical, need etc. I would quit if you can, be honest about your past. Who can trust a lying cop?


I would highly suggest that if you plan on trying to become a cop you really rethink your life and what you do day to day. The issue is not the use of drugs or any possible disqualifier, it’s the fact that if you are using or doing anything that is even the slightest bit illegal and the next candidate is not then you will be passed over for the better more secure applicant.


Online Safety Resources–Kids and Parents



  • A COMPREHENSIVE DIRECTORY OF ONLINE SAFETY RESOURCES Keeping kids safe on their Internet journey and encouraging responsible behavior online is a common goal of parents and teachers everywhere. This frequently updated directory provides easy access to hundreds of resources that have been developed worldwide.
  • SAFEKIDS.COM One of the Net’s oldest and most comprehensive Internet safety sites, operated by ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid
  • NETFAMILYNEWS.ORG As a public service for parents, educators, and everyone interested in young people’s use of technology, NetFamilyNews is the "community newspaper" of a vital interest community. Founded in 1999 by co-director Anne Collier as a nonprofit
  • CYBERTIPLINE.COM The Congressionally mandated CyberTipline is a reporting mechanism for cases of child sexual exploitation including child pornography, online enticement of children for sex acts, molestation of children outside the family, sex tourism of children, child v
  • CENTER FOR SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE INTERNET USE Operated by Internet educator and author Nancy Willard, CSRIU provides excellent advice and analysis about cyberbullying and other aspects of online safety.
  • CHILDNET INTERNATIONAL A UK-based nonprofit organization, Childnet provides online safety education to youth, parents, educators, and policymakers with a great deal of input from young people themselves. Its long list of resources include a powerful short film on cyberbullying,
  • ENOUGH IS ENOUGH A non-profit organization dedicated to protecting kids from pornography as well as sexual predators. They tend to take a bit more of a rules-based approach than we do, but we respect their commitment and passion for keeping kids safe.
  • FAMILY ONLINE SAFETY INSTITUTE The Family Online Safety Institute is an international non-profit organization that facilitates the meeting of thought leaders in technology and policy in order to find innovative solutions for children’s online safety.
  • GETNETWISE.ORG Run by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Internet Education Foundation, GetNetWise is one of the Web’s most comprehensive collections of information about children’s Internet safety and family computer security. Includes a searchable database of parent
  • NETSMARTZ.ORG Online-safety education for kids, parents, educators, and law enforcement from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (which also operates
  • SAFETEENS.COM The sister site to with Net safety advice for teens and parents of teens from Larry Magid, co-director of