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-   -   Did I ruin my chances to be a LEO? (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=627153)

Skin1991 10-02-2012 1:33 PM

Did I ruin my chances to be a LEO?
 
So here it is, I have been doing alot of tactical training and been thinking of getting my executive protection certificate but recently have thought about going to the police academy and trying to get a job as some sort of LEO. My question is when I was in highschool my senior year, I made a stupid mistake and got a medical marijuana card, it was stupid because I smoked pot maybe 4 times, I honestly got it just to have because I was 18 and was with the wrong crowd, and realized I didn't even like smoking the crap and regretted even getting it. I obviously no longer hang out with those kinds of people and havnt smoked anything in about 3 years. So did that stupid choice ruin my opportunity?

jmzhwells 10-02-2012 1:43 PM

Probably not, but ya dumb choice. Marijuana is usually a 3 or 5 year eliminator. Hell, it was medicine right?

Mr. Magoo 10-02-2012 1:49 PM

You will be banished to flipping burgers for the rest of your life!

ak_in_ca 10-02-2012 1:52 PM

Having a medical marijuana card prevents you from owning a firearm so yes you have DQ'd yourself from becoming a cop or holding any job (Legally) that has you carrying a firearm

Skin1991 10-02-2012 2:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_in_ca (Post 9440084)
Having a medical marijuana card prevents you from owning a firearm so yes you have DQ'd yourself from becoming a cop or holding any job (Legally) that has you carrying a firearm

I don't have it anymore...

Skin1991 10-02-2012 2:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmzhwells (Post 9440031)
Probably not, but ya dumb choice. Marijuana is usually a 3 or 5 year eliminator. Hell, it was medicine right?

Yeah medicine :facepalm:

Invisible_Dave 10-02-2012 2:30 PM

Depending on the department it's probably not a complete DQ, some may look at it as you at least went about it the "legal" way. 3-5 years is prob a safe bet.

Skin1991 10-02-2012 2:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Invisible_Dave (Post 9440313)
Depending on the department it's probably not a complete DQ, some may look at it as you at least went about it the "legal" way. 3-5 years is prob a safe bet.

So you would suggest waiting a few more years? And way to get a sure yea or no answer?

Raiz 10-02-2012 4:02 PM

Who checks? ...and how can you check? Does every doctor share the information on patients that have medical marijuana cards?

Baconator 10-02-2012 4:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raiz (Post 9440986)
Who checks? ...and how can you check? Does every doctor share the information on patients that have medical marijuana cards?

The polygraph checks.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

Skin1991 10-02-2012 4:19 PM

So your telling me if you even smoked pot you can't become a LeO because the polygraph. There is no way that every police officer/LEO has never smoked pot ever.

Ron-Solo 10-02-2012 4:55 PM

Give it at least five years since any use, then start applying. It will come up in backgrounds and polygraph. DO NOT LIE, that will DQ you forever. Most agencies have some flexibility with mj.

While waiting, do things that will show maturity and solid decision making abilities. Volunteer with the local Red Cross (good training anyway) or animal shelter.

Consider time in the military, either active or reserve. The veterans points will help you get hired and the military will give you a chance to show maturity. There are other benefits to serving also. Many cops are still in the reserves.

Best of luck

Spanky8601 10-02-2012 5:35 PM

Use of MJ is not an automatic DQ, with most departments. The more time between the last use and your application the better. As someone posted above 3-5 years. As Ron Solo said make sure you do not lie about prior use, they will find out and then because you lied that is an automatic DQ.

Good luck

moooooo 10-02-2012 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_in_ca (Post 9440084)
Having a medical marijuana card prevents you from owning a firearm so yes you have DQ'd yourself from becoming a cop or holding any job (Legally) that has you carrying a firearm

if you had a medical card and it is now expired are you still DQ'd from owning a firearm?

oddjob 10-02-2012 6:03 PM

Ron Solo is correct. Most agencies I know give MJ use a 5 year ban. DON'T lie though......That will haunt you for a much longer time.

If you don't already have a degree I would also consider going back to school.

Skin1991 10-02-2012 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moooooo (Post 9441748)
if you had a medical card and it is now expired are you still DQ'd from owning a firearm?

No it won't you can't be using it or have a card at the time of purchase or anything else regarding a firearm.

Skin1991 10-02-2012 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oddjob (Post 9441836)
Ron Solo is correct. Most agencies I know give MJ use a 5 year ban. DON'T lie though......That will haunt you for a much longer time.

If you don't already have a degree I would also consider going back to school.

Thanks guys, I am still in school gettin my buisness entrapenurship AA and also getting as much tactical training and certificates as I can in the mean time. When the time comes ill give it a try. Thank you all very much for your replies and for not bashing me for a poor choice I made in my past.

Cuey 10-02-2012 8:19 PM

I'm Fed LEO and it most assuredly would knock you out a minimum of 5 years, ESP my agency. Don't give up though, thoughts on this are changing and if you can back up your claims on a poly you might be okay in a smaller department getting your foot in the door.

God speed, C.

moooooo 10-02-2012 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skin1991 (Post 9442661)
No it won't you can't be using it or have a card at the time of purchase or anything else regarding a firearm.

thank you guess i will be attending the gun show this weekend :D

P5Ret 10-03-2012 12:27 AM

Just my thought on the tactical training. It isn't going to help you land a job, it may help after, but keep in mind that eventually you may have to go through an interview process, with people who may or may not be gun people who will look at it like you think your going to be in gun fights all the time. Since 99% of the job has nothing to do with firearms, you may want to look at other things that will be a bit more useful, like speaking multiple languages. Invest a bit of money into something along that line will be much more attractive, to the admin in charge of hiring than taking multiple courses at Gunsite or where ever.

d4v0s 10-03-2012 12:33 AM

Ventura pd only asks if you have smoked in the last year. Dated a girl trying to become a cop and she used to joke about having to apply in another year after we partied hard.

Sold her crotch rocket, married an oil field worker that beats her, and pops a new kid out every year or so. Pot does weird things to you.

Also, every cop/sheriff I know smoked. Thats only like 8 people. But its not a disqualifier. Be honest and if you have kicked the stuff then good.

Skin1991 10-03-2012 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P5Ret (Post 9444351)
Just my thought on the tactical training. It isn't going to help you land a job, it may help after, but keep in mind that eventually you may have to go through an interview process, with people who may or may not be gun people who will look at it like you think your going to be in gun fights all the time. Since 99% of the job has nothing to do with firearms, you may want to look at other things that will be a bit more useful, like speaking multiple languages. Invest a bit of money into something along that line will be much more attractive, to the admin in charge of hiring than taking multiple courses at Gunsite or where ever.

I am pretty well rounded for my age (just turned 21), buisness degree (in the process), Speak german pretty decently, licensed locksmith, i am trying to acquire as many skill as possible.

Skin1991 10-03-2012 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cuey (Post 9442796)
I'm Fed LEO and it most assuredly would knock you out a minimum of 5 years, ESP my agency. Don't give up though, thoughts on this are changing and if you can back up your claims on a poly you might be okay in a smaller department getting your foot in the door.

God speed, C.

Thank you for the encouragment :cool:




Quote:

Originally Posted by d4v0s (Post 9444369)
Ventura pd only asks if you have smoked in the last year. Dated a girl trying to become a cop and she used to joke about having to apply in another year after we partied hard.

Sold her crotch rocket, married an oil field worker that beats her, and pops a new kid out every year or so. Pot does weird things to you.

Also, every cop/sheriff I know smoked. Thats only like 8 people. But its not a disqualifier. Be honest and if you have kicked the stuff then good.

Like i said, it really wasnt my thing. the crap made me have anxiety and all kinds of crazy crap. I was in with the wrong crowd and it was the "cool" thing to do. I realized how stupid it was, got my crap together and clearly do not socialize with those idiots anymore, most of them ended up moving onto other drugs, a few OD'd on stuff, and some are in jail. I got into college, found my true friends, and met a girl who changed me for the better, and here i am today.

Ron-Solo 10-03-2012 1:56 AM

It sounds like you are on the right track, and are now making good life decisions. Keep it up, and show that you are committed to continuing in the right direction.

Keep the tactical training low key. Some of the classes I've seen are full of Tommy Tacticals and Mall Ninjas. You don't want to get that type of a jacket put on you. I watched a guy pitch his training course to some innocent potential clients at a recent gun show. He was so full of bologna that it made me sick. You don't want to pick up a lot of bad habits before going to an academy. It can make it harder to UN-eff some of the things you learned.

Similarly, martial arts training is good for physical conditioning and learning how to fall without getting hurt, but some styles the moves can get you fired if not careful. I had a Kung Fu instructor that held separate classes for LE because many of the moves he taught in his regular classes would have to standing tall before a force review panel every time. He taught us some good moves that would remain within most department policies.

Officer survival is more than just gun fighting, fist fighting, and kicking butt. It includes career survival too.

Chase the dream....

Falconis 10-03-2012 3:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skin1991 (Post 9444374)
I am pretty well rounded for my age (just turned 21), buisness degree (in the process), Speak german pretty decently, licensed locksmith, i am trying to acquire as many skill as possible.

I personally wouldn't bother applying right now if I were you. Take the advice given to you and do something with your life right now. Whether that's getting a degree or serving time in the military. IMO that tactical training isn't going to benefit you much unless you already have a EP job in which case most companies send you to that sort of stuff anyways.

I am not going to say that you are automatically DQ'd right now but I think you are still competing against a lot of people with more qualifications than you as well. Field is still pretty thick for the amount of jobs out there. And being 21 with what you described doesn't look too attractive compared to some of the other people out there with positive life experiences.

PS this is covered in the FAQ that is stickied above.

Notorious 10-03-2012 6:50 AM

By itself, not DQ forever, but yeah, better put that time to good use while you wait out the purgatory.

PolishMike 10-03-2012 7:25 AM

The problem right now is that there are dozens of applicants for each open LE position. So even though it is not an automatic dq, it only hinders you

tleeocinca 10-03-2012 7:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_in_ca (Post 9440084)
Having a medical marijuana card prevents you from owning a firearm so yes you have DQ'd yourself from becoming a cop or holding any job (Legally) that has you carrying a firearm

^^^ This is completely incorrect. Having a medical marijuana card does not prevent you from owning a firearm. Please do your research before you post things like this.

ak_in_ca 10-03-2012 8:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tleeocinca (Post 9444986)
^^^ This is completely incorrect. Having a medical marijuana card does not prevent you from owning a firearm. Please do your research before you post things like this.

"The memo was authored by Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director for Enforcement Programs and Services for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). Herbert said he wrote the memo after receiving "a number of inquiries about the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and its applicability to federal firearms laws."

Herbert cited the section of the federal criminal code that prohibits anyone who is "an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" from possessing firearms. He reminded firearms dealers that they cannot legally sell guns to people they have reasonable cause to believe are illegal drug users or addicts and wrote that anyone presenting a medical marijuana registration card is providing reasonable cause for the dealer to believe they are illegal drug users or addicts.

Despite the Obama administration's 2009 Justice Department memo famously vowing not to go after patients and providers in compliance with state laws, the federal government has never wavered from its stance that, despite state medical marijuana laws, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance.

"Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether or not his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or is addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition," Herbert wrote.

While the federal gun law is not new, its restatement with specific reference to medical marijuana patients is, and that has advocates concerned."

You can do your own google research if you would like. YOU KNOW THE QUESTION ON A 4473 Regarding habitual user of narcotics?

Horton Fenty 10-03-2012 8:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_in_ca (Post 9445089)
"The memo was authored by Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director for Enforcement Programs and Services for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). Herbert said he wrote the memo after receiving "a number of inquiries about the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and its applicability to federal firearms laws."

Herbert cited the section of the federal criminal code that prohibits anyone who is "an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" from possessing firearms. He reminded firearms dealers that they cannot legally sell guns to people they have reasonable cause to believe are illegal drug users or addicts and wrote that anyone presenting a medical marijuana registration card is providing reasonable cause for the dealer to believe they are illegal drug users or addicts.

Despite the Obama administration's 2009 Justice Department memo famously vowing not to go after patients and providers in compliance with state laws, the federal government has never wavered from its stance that, despite state medical marijuana laws, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance.

"Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether or not his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or is addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition," Herbert wrote.

While the federal gun law is not new, its restatement with specific reference to medical marijuana patients is, and that has advocates concerned."

You can do your own google research if you would like. YOU KNOW THE QUESTION ON A 4473 Regarding habitual user of narcotics?

All true.

The thing is what pot smoker....or drunk, or any other kind of addict is going to check yes on the form? Especially when one considers the question and notes it is worded as an "unlawful" user.

tleeocinca 10-03-2012 8:21 AM

Just because the atf released the memo it does not mean it will stand up at trial. The original conflict was that some MMJ patients thought it would be a good idea to use their MMJ cards as their state ID instead of the drivers license. this put gun dealers in an unsafe position because the patients were still marking no on the drug section but showing their MMJ card as ID. Use your real ID and don't worry about the feds. the question asks if you are an unlawful user of any drug including marijuana. If you have an MMJ card you shouldn't feel that you are an unlawful user of marijuana, a medical doctor has recommended it to you as a treatment and the state even recognizes your medical use as valid. I think it would be hard for the government to argue their case if anyone was ever tried under this memo.

Fundamentals 10-03-2012 9:18 AM

Having a MMJ card does not exclude you. The cards last a year. You could stop using, and then fill out the 4473 without lying. I would suggest making sure you could piss clean first before buying a gun.

Secondly, many departments in CA are time based. Some as short as a year, some as long as five. Be grateful, as other states would auto DQ you for this. As was said by Mr. Solo, do activities to show maturity, do well in school, and ensure your associations are as good as possible.

I am through this process myself. I am unable to do any volunteer work with San Bernardino Sheriff until next May (volunteering at ThinkTogether and soon to be Probation in the meantime); however, the backgrounds investigator I spoke to was relieved that it was -just- marijuana. Do not let the wives tale of "you have to compete with people who have never used drugs" fool you, as pretty much everyone has done something nowadays. The investigator even mentioned to me that they scrutinize liquor more now than they used to, so no one is squeaky clean.

TrailerparkTrash 10-03-2012 11:27 AM

Actually smoking MJ probably isn't the issue. The issue is that you (and others) actually tried to circumvent the laws and intentionally focused your life (at that point) on acquiring a substance that doesn't stand well with LEO's.

To many departments, it can look as if you focused your attention and wasted your life back then with getting a MJ "medical" card, instead of focusing on planning your future and career. I think departments would think, "what else would you weasel yourself into?"

I'm not picking on you because I'm sure by this post you've started that you're a completely different person. However, many LE departments or HR people don't really care about somebody that's "changed for the better", when there are plenty of candidates that have done everything "right" in their lives to become a LEO.

In todays terrible economy where "everyone" that's young (and old) is begging for a good career type job, LE departments are back in a position of advantage. The departments can carefully pick & choose a "better" candidate than one that maybe has a "slim shady" past. These days, the economy and LE departments are not struggling for "good" candidates like they did pre 2008. I'm being blunt and straight forward with you by playing devil's advocate here.

As others have said already, don't try to hide it and don't try to sugar coat it during a background check or interview. Also, don't dwell on the subject either. Discuss it if it comes up by stating you made a mistake that you're not proud of. You learned from it and have changed your lifestyle completely. ...next question.

After all that, you can only pray for the best outcome of your quest. ;)

Skin1991 10-03-2012 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash (Post 9446230)
Actually smoking MJ probably isn't the issue. The issue is that you (and others) actually tried to circumvent the laws and intentionally focused your life (at that point) on acquiring a substance that doesn't stand well with LEO's.

To many departments, it can look as if you focused your attention and wasted your life back then with getting a MJ "medical" card, instead of focusing on planning your future and career. I think departments would think, "what else would you weasel yourself into?"

I'm not picking on you because I'm sure by this post you've started that you're a completely different person. However, many LE departments or HR people don't really care about somebody that's "changed for the better", when there are plenty of candidates that have done everything "right" in their lives to become a LEO.

In todays terrible economy where "everyone" that's young (and old) is begging for a good career type job, LE departments are back in a position of advantage. The departments can carefully pick & choose a "better" candidate than one that maybe has a "slim shady" past. These days, the economy and LE departments are not struggling for "good" candidates like they did pre 2008. I'm being blunt and straight forward with you by playing devil's advocate here.

As others have said already, don't try to hide it and don't try to sugar coat it during a background check or interview. Also, don't dwell on the subject either. Discuss it if it comes up by stating you made a mistake that you're not proud of. You learned from it and have changed your lifestyle completely. ...next question.

After all that, you can only pray for the best outcome of your quest. ;)

Thank you for the advice. My advice to everyone is pick your friends closely an font do dumb stuff that can impact you the rest of your life. Dumb decisions do haunt you in one way or another.

Armed24-7 10-03-2012 1:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skin1991 (Post 9441124)
So your telling me if you even smoked pot you can't become a LeO because the polygraph. There is no way that every police officer/LEO has never smoked pot ever.

That is not the case. I am in my mid-40's and have been a LEO for 23 years. I admitted to trying marijuana (1 joint) in my senior year of high school. I did not get DQ'd.

I don't know how old you are, but if you are talking very recently, they would probably DQ you. If it has been several years since you smoked it and did not smoke it regularly, you should be ok. Do yourself a favor and be honest. You will go through many different types of interviews, one of them being the polygraph. It would be very easy for them to catch you in a lie and that would be automatic DQ for you. Just be honest and you should be ok.

jrock 10-03-2012 1:44 PM

honesty?...it worked for bho, our supreme leader. autobio "dreams from my father".
or the clinton approach..
ya i smoked but didnt know what i was doing and proly didnt inhale.

john.t.singh 10-03-2012 2:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolishMike (Post 9444930)
The problem right now is that there are dozens of applicants for each open LE position. So even though it is not an automatic dq, it only hinders you

^ unfortunately at least in SD and LA this seems to be the case. My roommate hit this issue. He tried it once in high school and never did it again but the gist was they had a glut of candidates who never did so why bother with him.

Falconis 10-03-2012 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fundamentals (Post 9445493)
Do not let the wives tale of "you have to compete with people who have never used drugs" fool you, as pretty much everyone has done something nowadays. The investigator even mentioned to me that they scrutinize liquor more now than they used to, so no one is squeaky clean.

His problem of being 21 and getting the card at 18. Everyone may have done something, but there are plenty of applicants out there that can probably show something for their life even if they tried something way back then. He's not the 29 year old who has been on the straight and narrow for 11 years. He's a 21 year old kid with a sob story and feelings of stupidity. Unless he isn't telling us a lot about his life, he'll have to show a lot of things before he'll be considered IMO.

retired 10-03-2012 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skin1991 (Post 9441124)
So your telling me if you even smoked pot you can't become a LeO because the polygraph. There is no way that every police officer/LEO has never smoked pot ever.

Not only have you painted every leo, retired and active and deceased, with that broad brush statement, which is considered leo bashing; I take it as a personal insult.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s and was 17 in 1967; the Summer of Love in Haight Asbury. A lot of people during that period smoked marijuana. I wasn't one of them. I have not only not smoked marijuana, I have never tried any marijuana product (brownies, etc.).

I was also a leo for 27yrs. and not only did not smoke it prior to my career, during my career or since I've retired 91/2yrs. ago.

As to the latter time; my family has suggested many times that I should obtain a medical MJ card to help with the severe pain I have frequently from 4 intensive and debilitating spinal surgeries. I have always refused and have no intention to change that decision. Ethically I just cannot do that. I didn't believe in it when I was a teen, during my career or since I've retired.

In the future, think carefully before writing a statement that bashes leos as a whole or individually. It is against the rules of this forum and can result in your privilege to view or post in this forum. We don't want this to occur, so follow the rules for this speciality forum located in the sticky near the top of the forum.


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