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  1. #1
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    Default Marijuana use and the polygraph

    I've searched these boards, and am having a tough time finding a definitive answer as to what extent smoking pot in the past can keep you from being hired. I am aware that policies vary from department to department. I smoked infrequently over about 2 years in highschool and college. After how many years of being clean is it safe to say my shot at being hired is not significantly reduced? I have no intent of lying on my application or attempting to trick the polygraph, so anyone offering advice along those lines, please just don't.


  2. #2
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    During one of my polygraphs the examiner told me that the counties requirements for the fire dept were far more flexible than for PD. He said he had seen people with hundreads of pot uses get hired into the dept. He said the primary issue was current non use and honosty about the use. He did not discuss however how long since last use was important. I had never used so we did not get too deep into what they were looking for on that end. Think about their concerns and you can probably answer your own question. They want someone who will not have a problem showing up to work because they are high. Someone who will not endanger co-workers because of limited capacity at work because of either addiction or impairment. And someone who will not cause the dept issues in community relations because of either of these issues.

    good luck with your interviews

  3. #3
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    Don't forget, the City will get the entire interview from the polygraph. They don't just get a pass/fail notice. So be thorough in your answer and be honest.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  4. #4
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    Most agencies want to see at least 5-years without drug use. Itís not just the poly that can cause you problems with drug use, but also the psych evaluation. Prior minor use should not be counted against you. Extensive use does raise questions. If you experimented with marijuana 200 times will certainly raise a red flag. Experimenting with cocaine or methamphetamine is much more serious. The psych doc will ask you some serious questions about your drug use that could keep you from getting hired.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Most agencies want to see at least 5-years without drug use. Itís not just the poly that can cause you problems with drug use, but also the psych evaluation. Prior minor use should not be counted against you. Extensive use does raise questions. If you experimented with marijuana 200 times will certainly raise a red flag. Experimenting with cocaine or methamphetamine is much more serious. The psych doc will ask you some serious questions about your drug use that could keep you from getting hired.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com
    Jeepers bobby, you forgot to tell him about the website that teaches him how to beat the polygraph. You also forgot to tell him to lie about his marijuana usage.

    Dude, you're slippin'.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber TED1435's Avatar
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    Most places I've applied at state their drug usage disqualifiers their requirements. The department I was just hired at states that you are disqualified from the hiring process if you have used illegal drugs, or admit to using drugs, in the past 12 months. Let your examiner know about your prior drug usage. They're trying to see if you'll lie to them. They want to hire the best people around. Don't worry; they expect people to say they've used drugs sometime in their past. I personally never have, and my examiner was very skeptical of that answer.

    Bottom line, as long as you don't use drugs, and haven't in a long time, you'll be fine. Just admit to it.

  7. #7
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    ewh228 -
    You have some damn good advice here. I don't think you'll find better help anywhere else. "GeorgeWendt" - You always crack me up........ You beat me to the response that I wanna post!
    My advice, even though hammered on already......... DO NOT LIE and if given the opportunity to explain, do so.
    Bottom line is...... If you're worried about trying to trick the process, then you don't deserve the job. (not saying that's you)
    Just be honest and positive regarding your past and what you've learned from it.
    BTW, I think a good % of us on these boards have answered YES to this question. Hell even one of our presidents had a run in with the wacky tobacky!!
    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice everyone, you've been a ton of help. The more time I spend on this board, the more I realize just how great a resource it is.

  9. #9
    Forum Member furlofmalta's Avatar
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    Honesty is the best policy.
    Just think of it this way.
    Remember when you were a kid and you f'd up.
    You probably lied to get out of it.
    Kids lie.
    Adults don't.
    Most fire departments hire adults last time I checked.

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