General Question

eternal_serenity's avatar

I want to join the military, but I used to smoke pot 3-4 times a week for 3 years. Do I have to lie to qualify?

Asked by eternal_serenity (494 points ) February 24th, 2010

I’ve never been in trouble for it – everyone is telling me to lie to meps…....I don’t like lying – what should I do?I am very serious about joining the military and I just don’t know what to do. I heard if you’ve smoke more than 10 or 15 times or something you are disqualified. What are the REAL rules and what should I do. I hate being dishonest and I heard they look into that anyways.

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50 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

They’ll prolly have a bigger issue with your spelling “probably” than they will with your past pot smoking.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If you test positive, you’re out.
Done deal.

Bluefreedom's avatar

First of all, don’t lie to anyone about anything. Secondly, tell the recruiter the truth and have him help you explore all your options when considering your possible future in the military. He will detail the rules for you and be able to answer your questions better than anyone else.

njnyjobs's avatar

How recent was this 3-year period of thrice a week puffing? Are you completely, honestly off the stuff? If it’s been years and you truly believe that you can pass the required drug and medical tests, then go ahead, by all means and conveniently forget about the past experiences you had.

skfinkel's avatar

It seems to me that lying to get somewhere is far graver than what you have done. You will always worry if someone will find out. Haven’t you seen enough hapless politicians and sports stars get caught in their lies—and how much worse for them. Just say the truth. If the military don’t want you, perhaps it is for the best. Something better will be lurking right around the corner.

DarkScribe's avatar

No, you only have to lie to enter politics.

MissAnthrope's avatar

At MEPS, you’ll be sat in a room with other recruits and they’ll pass out some paperwork. They’ll try to scare you and tell you to be honest on the forms, threaten you with a huge fine and a couple of years in jail for lying.

Personally, I would never admit marijuana use, officially, to anyone. At MEPS, I would not admit marijuana use if I knew I would pass the drug test during processing. Unless they took a hair sample, they’d have no way of knowing. I wouldn’t feel bad about not being truthful because what business is it of theirs whether I used to smoke pot, if I can pass their drug test, and I stay clean for the duration of my service?

eternal_serenity's avatar

@njnyjobs yeah i graduated high school in 08 so the 3 year period was back in my 7/8/9th grade years – i got caught up with the wrong crowd at a young age – i was very young and stupid

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies so do you feel better about yourself for pointing that out for me? I hope it made your day…......

DarkScribe's avatar

@RealLies is right you know. You have to defeat the enemy in spelling bees in modern warfare. The first thing an Iraqi terrorist is going to do is challenge you to spell Muhammad. ;)

njnyjobs's avatar

@eternal_serenity if you’re puffing escapades were never documented, as in you never got caught and records written, then there wouldn’t be any evidence of your transgression with the wacky tobacky.

However, federal law requires military applicants to tell ALL criminal history on recruiting applications, including expunged juvenile records. Also, in most states, such records are available to military investigators. It is important to remember that you are not automatically barred from the military because you have a juvenile record. Depending on the offense, you can make a fresh start. We all make mistakes.

eternal_serenity's avatar

@njnyjobs I don’t have any records at all – I just heard that if they found out you can get charged with a felony. I don’t really believe they would actually charge me with a felony and send me to prison, but I don’t know too much about the military and how seriously they take lying about past drug use.

faye's avatar

Someone is playing with your brain. If you don’t do it now, don’t say anything. Nobody’s business, is it? But if you admit it and it’s written down now, it’s there for the rest of time. Never put stuff in black and white!!

njnyjobs's avatar

@eternal_serenity last I checked a felony charge will require evidence of the crime for it to stick…that is why I pointed out whether a juvie record exist or not….. no record, no evidence…. no case

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@eternal_serenity

Get used to spelling corrections on this forum. I get them all the time because I commit the same error all the time. It’s not just a you thing.

A friendly razz intended to improve everyone… Including myself.

_________________________

But please be advised that proper language usage is beneficial to any and all pursuits in life. The military depends upon clear and concise communication skills. Those that see the value in this will rise to the top. Those that don’t will sink to the bottom.

__________________________

I have every confidence that once you join the military, that my little razz to you will become trivial very soon. You’re about to discover what real razzing is all about.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hey I just read your profile. Have you not had any luck finding a job working with animals or nature? You seem very interested in that.

Takes a bit of work to filter through it all, but do the Goog for nature jobs or animal jobs. Here’s some suggestions from job monkey“First and foremost, people who work with animals should genuinely like them.” That sounds like you!

I have a friend who made good money as a dental assistance but just hated it. She loves animals. She’s now making twice as much walking dogs. But marketing is the most important part. She places no less than 3 ads a day on Craigslist. One in the morning, one afternoon, and one evening. Calls slowly started coming in and now she has regular clients. Those clients also refer her to their vets and even more business comes in.

Oh well… good luck in whatever you do. Did I spell Google as the Goog?

eternal_serenity's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m just saying I don’t really care about spelling on a website like fluther. If I was typing out a resume, I would care obviously. I’m not angry or anything, I just don’t see what my spelling has to do with anything on a social site.

eternal_serenity's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I love animals, but I want to join the military more. I like being in a strict working environment, as odd as that sounds. I really want to help defend my country.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m proud to have people like yourself in our country. Best luck to you.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Military job working with Animals?

eternal_serenity's avatar

I was going to do that but I would have to go into military police and my vision in my left eye is only correctable to 20/200, so I’m disqualified.

eternal_serenity's avatar

I have really bad luck….....lol

Dilettante's avatar

I used to smoke pot 3–4 times a week too…for three years…and then I….hey, what was your question again?

eternal_serenity's avatar

@Dilettante lol – pot doesn’t really make you stupid unless you’re just always stoned haha

eternal_serenity's avatar

what do you think all those great artists, musicians, poets, etc did in their free time?

faye's avatar

Did you check military requirements on vision? I don’t mean to be a downer but if one eye can’t see clearly, is that okay?

davidbetterman's avatar

If you really want to join the military, you might as well get used to lying, and killing…

Be sure you are clean for 30 days before testing. Then lie like the soldier you want to become.

Dilettante's avatar

@eternal_serenity ”...in their free time?”

I’m not into the concept of time, man.

Kokoro's avatar

Be HONEST. If they found out you were lying, that would not be good. I know several people in the military who were FORMER marijuana smokers. Once you join the military, you better not be on any drugs.

gtreyger's avatar

It’s OK to be a bad boy. It’s NOT ok to lie about it. They want to know if you can be blackmailed. If you lie about smoking pot, and someone in your past knows about it and tells the investigator (in order to get a clearance* you’ll need to be investigated), the investigator doesn’t need any other proof to suggest your clearance not be adjudicated and, you’ll end up either out of the military or doing some mindless job in the military that doesn’t require a clearance. No, they can’t convict you of a felony, but they can boot you out of the military with an “other than honorable” discharge, which makes it VERY difficult to find a good job as a civilian. Stay clean, be honest, go forth and defend our country! But god help you if you pop positive while on active duty!

*Unless you only want to do one enlistment in some mindless job (digging trenches, handing out towels at the gym, checking people into hotel), you’ll need a clearance.

StellarAirman's avatar

Some security clearances require taking a polygraph test. If you lie about the past drug use on your MEPS visit and the dozens of times they ask you before you sign up, then you get through training and end up in a job that requires a security clearance with a polygraph, or at any point during your security investigation even for non-polygraph jobs someone hints that you may have used drugs in the past and they find out you lied on government documents and during your enlistment, expect to immediately be denied or lose your clearance, your job and your military career.

Sadly I know of a lot of people that have lied about the same thing your are planning to and then brag about it once they are in like it’s so cool that they “got away with it”, but it’s not a great way to start out your military career, lying about it just to get in. I also know several people that have been kicked out of the military for lying about being arrested, then they found out about it during their background investigation. Or lying about getting a DUI, etc. They don’t really appreciate someone they are trusting with government secrets to be lying to them at every chance they get.

MissAnthrope's avatar

One of my dad’s best friends was Secret Service (now retired). He answered “no” to the marijuana question and made a point of saying you should never check “yes”, even though as a young adult, he’d smoked his share. Either they didn’t care or he was a good liar, but it did not effect his career as SS. Anecdotal, but true.

davidbetterman's avatar

It is quite easy to beat any polygraph test.

gtreyger's avatar

@davidbetterman What makes you say that?

davidbetterman's avatar

I have done it. It simply requires you to control your physical responses, and to make yourself believe that whatever you answer is the truth, regardless of how glaring a lie you have told.

gtreyger's avatar

@davidbetterman I don’t believe you for a second.

davidbetterman's avatar

@gtreyger Try it yourself. It is fun and easy.

eternal_serenity's avatar

@faye my vision in my left eye is correctable to 20/200, so i can still join.

I know that you can pass a lie detector test, but i don’t know how i’d make myself believe i was telling the truth when I know that it is a big fat lie…..haha maybe something minor, but not 3 years worth of smoking

DarkScribe's avatar

@gtreyger I don’t believe you for a second.

It is easy for some people which is why in most parts of the world they are not acceptable as evidence in court. I can beat them and most people can by simply taking a Valium or two before the test. They work by evaluating response to stress, variations in pulse, skin resistance etc., and a well accomplished liar can tell lies with no stress at all. People like myself, who understand exactly how they work (many years ago I worked for a company that manufactured scientific equipment, including what are commonly referred to as “Lie Detectors”) and can say anything and not generate any indication discernible to even the most experienced of operators.

faye's avatar

Okay, am I being thick? Isn’t stuff pretty blurry at 20/200?

DarkScribe's avatar

@faye Isn’t stuff pretty blurry at 20/200?

It was before they invented eyeglasses.

faye's avatar

He said his left eye can’t be corrected past 20/200.

gtreyger's avatar

@DarkScribe It is obvious that you know NOTHING about polygraphs and @davidbetterman is still full of it. There is a way to alter the outcome of the polygraph test, but it’s not by trying to control the uncontrollable (skin conductivity, heart rate fluctuation, respiration, blood pressure, etc…)

eternal_serenity's avatar

@faye yes it is – but my right eye is 20/20 so it’s not like i’m blind or anything. I’m female btw

faye's avatar

Okay, not blind but isn’t your world blurry? And I just assumed it would be a young man who wanted the military. Sorry, I’m old! It just never came up in my teens, though I guess the Peace Corps would be similar.

eternal_serenity's avatar

no i can’t even tell at all – I guess since my vision is so good in my right eye my left eye is kind of irrevelant. It’s been that way since I was born and I’ve never had any problems with it.

StellarAirman's avatar

Beating a polygraph may or may not be possible, but the point is that if you are trying to beat one to get a security clearance, you have no business having a security clearance and obviously can’t be trusted. It’s best to just be honest about your past. It’s less to worry about for you, less chance of you getting into trouble lady, and you’re less of a piece of crap for not lying before you even start a military career.

davidbetterman's avatar

Beating a polygraph is quite easy, and @eternal_serenity is only interested in joining the military, not become a secret agent. You owe no duty of honesty to any military outfit in the USA. They are the biggest liars and will treat you like dog meat.

DarkScribe's avatar

@gtreyger It is obvious that you know NOTHING about polygraphs and @davidbetterman is still full of it.

Well I could design and build one from scratch, they are effectively very simple devices. Also you don’t have to control your autonomous nervous system – although many people can – it’s one of the major reasons for meditation, you simply have to not become nervous. Not hard to do. As I said if you are a nervous person, use Valium or similar.

You seem to have a problem with reality – do a little research and learn why most courts will not accept them in evidence.

gtreyger's avatar

@eternal_serenity Best of luck to you. I hope you don’t lie, but you need to make that decision yourself.

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