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Police Officer Polygraph test – Addressing Ilegal drug questions

police polygraph questions Police Officer Polygraph test   Addressing Ilegal drug questionsIf you’re seeking a career in law enforcement and you’ve used drugs in the past, the best thing to do is to be honest about it. If you try to withhold that piece of information from the polygraph examiner, background investigators, or the police interview panel you’ll likely get disqualified immediately.

Although you’ll be asked straight forward questions about past drug use during the polygraph test, members on the oral interview panel may also ask you about it as well.

Some departments won’t allow you to continue on in the hiring process if you have excessive drug use patterns or you’ve used in the last two or three years. If you’re considering a career in police work, I suggest you stay as far as you can from illegal drug activity.

Of course the drug policy varies from department to department and from state to state, but I wouldn’t chance it by sneaking a few puffs in right before your polygraph exam.

Why am I saying this…..

I knew of a recruit when I was going through the process, who had actually gotten high the night before his polygraph examination. Needless to say, he was booted and hasn’t been heard from again.

Always be up front about past drug activity. I don’t care what drug it might have been. If it was marijuana or other drugs, simply be up front about it. SweatMerchant 150x150 Police Officer Polygraph test   Addressing Ilegal drug questionsDepartments realize there are quite a few qualified candidates who might have made a mistake or two in their lifetime, but damage is irreparable when you lie about it. That is inexcusable, and grounds for immediate disqualification.

So how should you address illegal drug questions:

To put it simple, the best way to answer an illegal drug question is to remain calm and tell the truth. Be completely honest with the polygraph examiner and you’ll do fine. There’s no certain way to get eliminated from the recruiting process then to straight up lie about pass drug use.

Don’t go into your test unprepared, instead Click Here to download a comprehensive list of common polygraph test questions with explanation on how to answer them.

About The Author
el2 Police Officer Polygraph test   Addressing Ilegal drug questions

Officer Forestal has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, 8 years law enforcement experience and is a graduate of the 2002 Police Corps, where he was recognized as an expert shooter. Former Collegiate all-American, certifield personal trainer and author of several fitness and police related books such as the Police Oral Interview Secrets, and Police Exam For Dummies. As a Law Enforcement enthusiast, E.L. has helped hundreds of candidates "ACE" their respective entrance exam and the oral board interview. Learn More...


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Comments & Responses

12 Responses so far.

  1. Adrian Mendoza says:

    I need to know whether I should just not try to join the academy at this moment due to the fact of an experimental use of marijuana? I experimented with marijuana one time only in my life, it was approximently 3 years ago and I am stressing out right now because of it. I am about to graduate from college with an associates degree from Remington College in Garland Texas an the only reason why I went to college is to become a police officer. Than I called Collin county colleges police academy for information and they informed me today that it is the head of the academy’s discretion whether to accept me into the academy. I need some help to determine whether i am wasting my time in trying to join the academy can you help me. Please and thank you. If you may please email me at this address agmendoza09@yahoo.com. Thank you.

  2. steve says:

    I am in the same shoes, I tried it two times back in the early 90s but have not did it since. I am not worried about it because I am telling the truth and it was something I did as and young man and did not like it. So my answer to you is be calm and tell the truth.

  3. jim says:

    Hahahahahaha if u only did it once u are not waisting your time and it is well out of your system weed is not a bad thing you just can’t be smoking it when you are a cop or I think its 6 months before you take the test because when they test ur hair sample they only test 6 months back. However when you take the lie dector test just tell them the truth you will be fine they more than likely won’t even care if it was that long ago and u burned a few times

  4. rigo says:

    I been smoking weed since i was 12 and i stopped recently and im 17 now. I been smoking for 5 years also i smoked cigarets since 15 but havent stopped. I stopped smoking weed because i thought it was time for me to stop for my self not because i was told. Will it do me bad for smoking that long? Should I also stop cigarets too?

  5. rotciv says:

    I was wondering if they still disqualify u for using marijuana because its legal in California with a recomendation just like vicodin and other prescription drugs. Like I said drugs. I really want to become a police officer. And I would hate to think that because of my past use and I mean for like 10yrs. That I wouldn’t get in I chose not to drink alcohol which is a drug because it renders u helpless I’m sure we all agree. Marijuana will one day be legal in California and it seems that society and a few hypocritical laws are keeping marijuana smokers from leading a better life I’m no different then a lot of people this is america.and I just want to do my part in keeping it safe for u and me.

  6. justinb says:

    Hey everybody I recently putin application to become a detetion officer. It required a polygraph test. I use marijuana three months ago.I been clean for like three months. Will this effect my chances of becoming a detention officer’s

  7. Tyler says:

    Im 16, i have stopped smoking weed. If i never do it again am i good? Or will i still get dq’d? Im going to college to be a cop. Will i have a good chance of getting in or will they be pissed?

  8. RJ says:

    All of you people who just experimented with marijuana are going to be fine.. especially if you are a teen. What they are looking for is habitual users (repeat users) over a long period of time. Marijuana is the lowest drug on their list.. Honestly by the time you get out of college and if you stay drug free.. you pretty much have an easy way in. Oh.. and keep good credit.

  9. Officer Forestal says:


    Thanks for contributing, you nailed it with your comment.

  10. Davis says:

    I recently smoked in December and want to apply for the sheriff. I have a clean background how long should I wait to apply?

  11. Dillon says:

    According to officer ive talked too in a city near me, the drug questions only ask about the past year. ex: “In the past year have you used ____.”

  12. Daniel says:

    I am in the Navy and have been for about 8 years now. before I joined I used Meth and marijuana but used the Navy to get clean and make a better life. I was honest about this to them and still got a job with a security clearance. I currently work and have been working in the counter narcotics field for almost 6 years. I have applied to some departments and am scared that even if I am honest on the poly and oral boards they will still not hire me due to a rough past. Like I said I have made a great change for my life. I have a family now and understand my past is my past. will this effect my future with my dream of making the force. If I should give up on my dream or continue please help with what I should do.