You are here:

Careers: Police/hiring combat vet with OTH


I am aware this question has been asked many times, but I think I might have a different kind of case. I am a former Marine, combat veteran with an award for excellence on patrol that can be documented. What can also be documented is that I was separated with 6 months to go on my enlistment for failing a urine test for Marijuana. After leaving the Corps I went to school, paid for it myself while working and also played lacrosse for my school in the NCAA division III and was inducted into the athletic honor society. I now have a 4 year degree and a 3.5 GPA. I am aware that college does not mean anything to LE but I am trying to show that I am still a good candidate. DO you think my combat experience and good grades and sports participation would make me a good candidate, even with the failed piss test? I was separated for my actions 5 years ago and have not used drugs and been a good citizen since.


Personally I think that you would be an excellent candidate for a position in law enforcement. Having said that I am not the one making the decision.

Nearly all departments now overlook recreational use of marijuana because it is so prevelant. Recreational use is usually defined as less than 20 (or so) times. Then there are departments that overlook it as long as the use was more than X number of years before.

To sum up I doubt if the marijuana use will be a problem. The thing I'd be worried about is the nature of the discharge. Make sure that whatever department is aware of the whole story.

Good luck!

Careers: Police

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jack Toomey


If you are an author I will be happy to help you however I do expect a reasonable donation using the PayPal icon. U.S.: I am an expert in this category for the purpose of giving young people an idea what the hiring process involves for the position of police officer. I am getting a flood of questions from young people who are being influenced by unrealistic television shows. I'd ask you to consider that when you watch police shows on television that they are NOT realistic and most of what you see does not happen in real life. Please do not ask me about potential jail sentences that you, your friends, or family might receive in court. There is no way for me to know that. I am NOT a probation officer so I cannot answer questions about probation and parole matters. I am a retired police officer with 26 years experience.I worked in a variety of assignments including investigations, homicide, sex crimes, runaway investigations, missing persons, and fraud.I also dealt with the general public during that time giving a wide range of advice on matters such as domestic disputes, problem solving, teenage problems, civil/criminal matters, and dealing with the mentally ill. I am available to give sound and reasonable advice which can solve most problems. Please do not ask me to do homework questions or online interviews. Young people should not rely on the Internet for interviews. Local police officers are normally very agreeable to assist students with interviews and surveys.


Worked as a police officer/detective for 26 years.

Graduate of the University of Maryland.B.S. in Law Enforcement.Attended numerous schools and training courses involving investigations, interviewing, interrogations, crime detection, domestic violence, and others. Recognized in court as an expert witness.

Received numerous awards during my police career for expert investigations. Handled the most sensitive and confidential investigations. In 1999 I won an award for my work with high school students while working in my new career in a large suburban high school.

B.S from the University of Maryland.

©2017 All rights reserved.