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past marijuana use

I just graduated high school and completed my first semester in college and got my EMT certificate. In high school i smoked marijuana but i know would never even think about useing it. I wanted to know if this would be a problem in my background check. I will never do it again and am very serious about being a FF so i would hate for that to cause a problem.
I also stole candy from a store when i was 14 but its not on my record. Just want to make sure this doesn;t get in the way of my dream job. Thanks for you help
This message was edited by scfire on 3-24-06 @ 7:30 PM

I would wager heavily that most police officers have smoked pot in their lifetime. I've never heard of any department, police or otherwise, that even cares about petty crimes (less than $400.00 in value) when you were a minor, as long as you're clean now and recently. But, you say it's not on your record, I would not worry. Just stay clean and keep on your track. Good Luck.

Rock On...

Marijuana use will certainly be explored in your background investigation as will any theft (petty or not).
You can't conrol the past, only the future.
What you have described will not keep you from becomming a firefighter.
Paul Lepore
Battalion Chief

Thank you for replying. I know the past cant be changed and thats wht im doing everything to make my future look better.
This message was edited by scfire on 11-26-06 @ 5:55 PM

Again, control what you can control. You have not mentioned anything that will keep you from your dreams. Stay focused on your goal and success will follow.
Paul Lepore
Battalion Chief

Like Chief Paul mentioned, nothing you havce stated will prevent you from being a firefighter. These are all common mistakes made in younger years that are easily explained and shows that we are all human and have exercised poor judgement as youths.

It is called growing up.

Factors that do come in to play are infractions over 18 years of age, patterns of poor choices, patterns of alcohol and drug abuse (not experimentation), poor driving record, bad credit history, etc. etc. etc.

There are many drugs that will disqualify a candidate just based on single usage. Hallucinogenics like LSD and mushrooms being the most common.

Every department is different in their background requirements. When you get to the background portion of the hiring process, be honest, show how you learned from your mistakes, how you have not repeated them since and you should be looking good.

Good Luck and stay on track!

This is also a question that I had been thinking about. I just graduated from a Fire Academy and have worked as an EMT for six months. My dream job would be Long Beach or LA county/city. My question is: One year in college I used marijuana occasionally, and unfortunately I tried mushrooms once. It is the biggest regret that I have in my life. I have learned from it and never touched, or even thought of touching drugs again. Not only did I hate the feeling but now I am worried that it will keep me from my dream. Is there anything I can do to not just be disqualified right away, because I know that I can be great at this job and would love doing it. Thank you.

Hallucinogenics are fairly serious when it comes to background checks. Many departments automatically disqualify candidates based on this use. Just remember, every department is different in requirements, time is your friend and be honest!
The moment you get caught for lying for trying to hide something like this (not saying you are going to but many have tried), you will find it almost impossible to get hired ANYWHERE!

Worst case scenario is you may be more limited in your opportunities for employment based on this type of drug use. It is not impossible by any means, just be honest up front and do not be dissapointed if you are removed from a background process, just move onto the next one.

As for the marijuana in college, bad decision, but time will help you here. Many departments like to see anywhere from 5-7 years since use, so keep that in the back of your mind as well. If you tried the mushrooms in college too, be prepared to explain this pattern of poor behavior to the investigator. They will especially interested in your grades and activities during this time period in your life to compare.

Good Luck!