Could i be a police officer with prior drug use if I am qualified in other areas?

I have has prior drug use as a kid - all before the age of 16. I have used cocain, marijuana, ecstasy and mushrooms. I am now 19 going on 20 and a United States Marine. I hope to have a degree in biz admin within the next few years as well. I obviously dont do drugs anymore and i dont even drink. It was just stupid stuff i did as a kid. Also, can i become swat or work in k-9 units if i am a city cop? I am not sure if those oppurtunites are only avaialbe for county cops. I want to work Baltimore city by the way.

Oh yeah and if i have a secret clearance from the military, will still get a background check from the police department? Thanks

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    It is possible that you could still become a police officer. Some departments would not consider you, but some would consider you in a few years. However, getting police officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. There will likely be applicants as qualified as you or more qualified than you that haven't used drugs or that haven't used hard drugs. Different departments have different policies pertaining to applicants and past drug use. For example, some departments that won't consider you if you've used marijuana more than 25 times even if it was when you were a juvenile and even if it was several years ago. Some would still consider you if enough time has passed since you've last used marijuana. Many departments, not just county departments, have SWAT teams and K9 officers. Don't do anything illegal. Maintain a good reputation. Keep a good driving record. Don't get bad credit. Get a college degree. Try to get a 4 year degree with a high grade point average. Stay as physically fit as you can. A police department will still do a background investigation even if you have a security clearance. Best of luck!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Baltimore City, Very good choice, a real town, a real department that needs real cops.

    Act like a cop and don't believe what you hear unless you know it is from a good source. Y!A is not a good source so if you want real answers call a recruiter at


    Baltimore likes military. When you have less than 6 months to go, short timer, start you application process, give them call. You get $1000 a year extra to start as a vet. If you got G.I. education benefits coming you get them along with your pay while in the Academy.

    You will still get the background check. Your secret clearance will speed it up but cop background checks and GS checks often look at some different things.

    I would not worry about over 4 year old drug experimentation. You gotta admit and be specific as possible IF asked. Just tell the simple truth, don't embellish how wonderful you have been. When talking about this kind of stuff you go back to the old Dragnet series of "just the facts" .

    One word of advise for any department. Be real careful and real thorough with the original application.

    Leaving something out by mistake can get you dumped.

    For example (not from BCPD) guy forgets a medical test he had years before where you had to go into a hospital overnight (now a days same test is done out patient). Later while talking with the police surgeon he mentioned the test. The "hospitalization" was not on the application form, he almost got dumped.

    City has K9, SWAT, helicopter officers and real detectives. 3 years as a patrol officer needed before you can start to move on to specialized units or promotions.

    Source(s): retired, not from Baltimore, cop, M.Sci-Law Enforcement Administration
  • 9 years ago

    The department that hires you will do their own background check no matter what you do now.

    If you do not meet their drug use policy (and you may not based on the hallucinogens) then it doesn't matter what other "good" things you bring to the table. It's not a balance scale where the good can outweigh the bad. You either meet EVERY SINGLE ONE of the criteria they have to be eligible for hire or you don't.

    Even if you do find a department where you meet all the minimums, you will be facing competition against people who have NONE of those issues in their past, and many will have similar positives as you. You will have a very hard time getting hired IMHO.

    Thank you for your service, but I don't think a career in LE is in the cards for you.

    Source(s): 10+ years Law Enforcement
  • Ardene
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    police officer prior drug qualified areas

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Rose
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Your 22 and in school which I take to mean you graduate college soon. Finish school. There are many other qualifications to be a police officer. Physical and psychological. The requirements you list above has an introductory statement that you did not include. It could be saying no report of, pass polygraph for these questions, honestly answer, etc. Check out all the requirements, finish school and apply for the job.

    For the best answers, search on this site

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The United States Military has no authority in ANY US organization.

    Even the recruiters get kicked out of the offices if they don't pay the office rent. It's not like they could say to the lanlord, "You can't evict me, I have 'Secret Military Clearance'.".

    But your answer is "Absolutely, Yes"! I know many police officers who once used drugs, got convicted, and were even in childhood gangs.

    It WILL be hard to overcome. But your record is like your credit...... It changes. Constantly. As you "Pay your bills".

    You just have to make sure you "Pay Your Bills".

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.