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ASK A COP: I Smoked Weed in High School. Can I Still Become a Cop?

Probably. Maybe? Not sure.

According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, these are the standards for prior drug use:

A. The following types of illegal drug use or possession will be considered automatic disqualifiers in the pre-employment selection process for non-sworn police personnel, with no exceptions:

1. Any adult use or possession of a drug classified as a hallucinogenic within seven (7) years prior to application for employment.

2. Any adult use or possession of marijuana within one (1) year prior to application for employment.

3. Any other illegal adult use or possession of a drug not mentioned above (including cocaine) within three (3) years prior to application for employment.

4. Any illegal adult use or possession of a drug while employed in the capacity of a police officer, licensed security officer, military police, or as a student enrolled in college accredited courses of/or related to the criminal justice field.

5. Any adult manufacture or cultivation of a drug.

6. Failure to divulge to the Police Department during the background investigation any information about personal illegal use or possession of drugs.

B. The disqualification of a police officer candidate for the following types of illegal drug use or possession will be considered in relationship to the overall background of that individual:

1. Any illegal juvenile use or possession of a drug.

2. Any illegal adult use or possession of a drug that does not meet the criteria of the automatic disqualifiers specified above; e.g., marijuana use longer than one (1) year ago or cocaine use longer than three (3) years ago.

C. All information obtained during a background investigation is confidential and will not be released to candidates or others.

Cathy P. February 13, 2013 at 03:33 PM
The problem with these "standards," at least those relating to marijuana, is that by the time most people are 18 -and certainly by 21- they have at least tried pot once. Pot is like cigarettes in the 50s, 99% of people tried it. Very few people make it out of their teenage years today without having experimented with pot, alcohol, or cigarettes. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying it's a new rite of passage and maybe new standards should be considred (?), otherwise, new recruiting efforts will be slim to none.
Diane Bianconi McNiel February 13, 2013 at 06:35 PM
I agree Cathy but mariquana is a one year limition that is not that long
Damian Esco February 13, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Cops aren't Angels either.
Cathy P. February 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM
@Diane: thanks, I should have read more carefully. For adults is says use or possession within one year prior to application for employment. I'm glad the guidelines make it so candidates can be honest and not resort to lying.
Cathy P. February 13, 2013 at 10:41 PM
@Damian: Charle's Angels weren't either ;
unclebeto February 14, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Jaclyn Smith was an angel for real....You know what is said about beauty.
Cathy P. February 14, 2013 at 05:10 PM
@unclebeto: gotta agree with you there ;)
Jessica Cortez February 18, 2013 at 01:48 AM
What a joke i know two officers that are high in rank now, that back in the days were partying more than they will ever admit. One was married and the other was engaged while at the same time were f^^^ing around with two of my female friends we wont mention any names. WPD is far from innocent .
Jose R. February 20, 2013 at 05:10 AM
They may not become cops but they can still write for la Patche.

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