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Thread: MJ use 10 yrs ago, What's UP!
07-16-2004, 14:14 #1Cadet
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
MJ use 10 yrs ago, What's UP!
I recently called an agancy that I want to reapply to for a reserve position. Long story short 10 years ago at age 21 I applied but was Dq'd with no explanation. I spoke to the person in charge of backgrounds and told him that a few months before I applied I tried MJ and disclosed this info at the time. He said he was not going to go back and search 10 years of paperwork, but that is probably why you were Dq'd. So after asking me the basic have you ever been in any trouble, hows your credit etc... He asks me what drugs I have used since then, I told him none, which is the truth. He tells me why would you smoke MJ if you wanted to be a police officer. I told him I was young, immature and did not know any better, I was an undergrad in college. By the stern sound of his voice, I don't know if he believed me, he just said that this issue will be a problem, but you can apply again, but we can also DQ you agian, I said even though it was 10 years ago and I have never touched anything at all since? He said only a background would be able to determine that. I think he was trying to intimmidate me into admitting that I did other drugs which I have not. But I am going to reapply anyway. Is MJ use, a maximum of 4 times, 10 years ago really a serious background issue?
07-17-2004, 20:02 #2
Yes, it can be. There are departments which will not accept applicants with any drug use at all and others that are more flexible. Check out some other threads in this forum and you will get a clear sense of how it works. better with the department you are applying to than debating what they should do is to ask what their policy is and assess whether you are within it or not. Save you some time and effort. If you are within their policy, maybe no sweat but it is a competitive process and if they get a bunch of good applicants with less or no drug stuff and everything else is about the same, they could choose to simply not select you, even if you are not under the rules disqualified.
What BI guy said was not that he believed you or not, but that they would check it out which they will.
Last edited by ATF SAC; 07-17-2004 at 20:06.ret.
07-17-2004, 23:44 #3nyfop Guest
i dont see how ANY dept would hire anyone that actually has done any drugs in there lifetime. this is not a profession for experiments, the immature, and every other excuse in the book.
Kinda of strange how someone being hired to enforce the law has broken it several times already, yeah that makes sense
07-18-2004, 15:08 #4
Guys, your posts are fine, but in two posts you have expressed the yin and yang of this issue and summarized the polar positions that appear in almost every thread. Position 1 is that I did some things when younger that departments should understand. Position 2 is that there is absolutely no reason departments should hire people who broke the law to enforce the law.
Neither works in real life, at least the real life of law enforcement hiring.
We are not in the understanding or forgiveness business at least in hiring. Probably hold nothing against you personally, but we design and enforce rules that in many cases reflect what we can do in the enviroment we are hiring in.
Agree or disagree, society and the law sort of recognize that a little mj experimentation maybe shouldn't be considered the worse thing in the world.
While not Puritans, the business is a bit Puritanical, so depending on our hiring pool we set rules that give us good performing candidates but lean toward exclusion. We aren't going to debate them unless they are successfully challenged in court, we're just going to use them.
Nor are we unaware that folks do stupid things on their way to us. Yes, you broke the law if you used mj a couple of times, or drank under age, or rolled a stop sign. In many jurisdictions the level of offense under the law for each of these is the same. I mean we could take the position that if you ever disobeyed your mom and dad you broke one of the ten commandments, you corrupt, stinky, untrustworthy person you. Probably leave us with a lot of dusty empty police cars and police stations.
We have lots of reasons to hate drugs and we have a roll in demonstrating that we do. Just got to understand that if we individually tried to "understand" everybody we would either hire badly or be so tied down in "understanding" each person we would never get anyone hired. So we set a bar and enforce it.
Similarly, we set that bar with some sense of the community, our responsibilities and with a clear eye on how the law feels about it. Not with how each of us individually feels about it either. "Sassed your Mom?" "You are so out of here." Key words are for us are fair, effective, legally sufficient and sustainable. Not arbitrary and not capricious. As the law and courts have defined those terms, not how you would like to argue how they should be defined.
And all this means is whether we will process your application or not. At a second level we have to compare you to other applicants who are very much like you. So you are past the drug policy and we have put you in the process. Great, unless the pool is very similar in skills and ability but everyone else is drug free. Same time, you are absolutely fault free, except you evaluate out as supplanting rules with severe personal judgements. Have a problem communicating with a diverse and challenging community. Maybe we will go with the gal with a couple of tokes under her belt.
Lot going on in being hired, what you have done, what you are like, how you react to things, how you comport yourself. Plenty of places where you have it aced, plenty of places you may not. Overall, only folks who meet the broad standards, measurements and evaluations should get by. Nothing gets lost in the process. Kind of like one of those "What are you like about X? tests." Got some pluses, got some minuses, all done your score is and you are a whatever. Meeting the requirements to get an application in is like paying the money for the magazine to take the test. Gotta do it, but not all ya gotta do.ret.
08-17-2004, 14:05 #5Rookie
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
nyfop -- although I agree with your attitude as it might apply towards cocaine/heroin and other hard drugs, treating marijuana as some sort of hard narcotic because of United States law is a bit of an overstatement.
In many (most) areas of the world, marijuana does not have the reputation that the US Government has given it. I'm not excusing those who break this law, but I absolutely DO NOT see this on the same level as a hardcore drug user or a perpetrator of violent crime. Something like DUI-Marijuana or other crimes involving marijuana, of course, are a separate issue.
Also, as someone who's used less than five times, I can probably state that the effects are less extreme than those of alcohol.
08-30-2004, 16:59 #6jamesr3939 Guest
I doubt there is any agency in CA that would DQ you for using ten years ago five times. I do backgrounds and even the POST background school doesn't make DQ automatic for any set number within a period of time. How recent is more important. I sat on an oral board once where a guy admitted to smoking a fatty in the parking lot just to relax for the board. No, he didn't pass. I applied with DEA in the mid-1980's and admitted to smoking MJ about 20 times in HS (1967). DEA had a DQ of more than 10 in your entire lifetime. Luckly the BI saw how stupid it was to DQ me for smoking MJ almost 20 years ago while in HS, 10 times over the limit. So they sent to DC for special approval to override the DQ and it was granted. I guess they figured 15 years in law enfocement with the last 3 working dope was good enough to counteract something I did in HS.