FAQ: I've used drugs in the past, does that disqualify me?
We often get this question from folks regarding Criminal Justice Employment, and, while individual agencies have their own specific policies regarding the topic, here's the F.B.I.'s uniform policy regarding prior drug use in applicants:
EMPLOYMENT DRUG POLICY
The FBI is firmly committed to a drug-free society and work place. Therefore, the unlawful use of drugs by FBI employees is not tolerated. Furthermore, applicants for employment with the FBI who currently use illegal drugs will be found unsuitable for employment. The FBI does not condone any prior unlawful drug use by applicants. We realize, however, some otherwise qualified applicants may have used drugs at some point in their pasts. The following policy sets forth the criteria for determining whether any prior drug use makes an applicant unsuitable for employment, balancing the needs of the FBI to maintain a drug-free workplace and the public integrity necessary to accomplish the FBI’s intelligence and law enforcement missions. Applicants who do not meet the listed criteria should not apply for any FBI position.
Under the FBI's current Employment Drug Policy, an applicant will be found unsuitable for employment if they:
- Have used any illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991), other than marijuana, within the past ten years, or engaged in more than minimal experimentation in their lifetime. In making the determination about an applicant’s suitability for FBI employment, all relevant facts, including the frequency of use, will be evaluated.
- Have used marijuana/cannabis within the past three years, or have extensively used marijuana/cannabis or over a substantial period of time. In making the determination about an applicant’s suitability for FBI employment, all relevant facts, including the recency and frequency of use, will be evaluated.
You can easily determine whether you meet the FBI's illegal drug policy by answering the following questions:
- Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?
- Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years?
- Have you ever sold any illegal drug for profit?
- Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago) while in a law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you are not eligible for employment with the FBI.