Monday, May 22, 2006

Did you use drugs -- in your past? If so, are you disqualified for a job of responsibility?

The famous (or infamous) LAPD -- the Los Angeles Police Department has hired as police officers six persons who admitted in their background questionnaire that they used a "hard drug, " cocaine, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. One of them used it 23 years ago. Another tried it when he was 15 years old.

Politicians and others are shocked. What does such drug use say, if anything about someone? Are they highly curious, a desirable trait in a police officer? Are they contemptuous of rules, an undesirable trait in a police officer? They do not have sound judgment -- really? They were young and impetuous?

Wisely, in my view, the LAPD hiring officials are no longer making experimental drug use a disqualifying feature for employment. Logically they are looking at the total record of the applicant.

Whether you like George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich or Al Gore, it does not appear that there use of drugs in their youth or young adulthood hurt them. More importantly, even if it did hurt them, it did not and does not qualify them for positions of responsibility.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Years ago my son stole a car for drug money. It was called a Burglary !, Class A felony. He was sentenced to a jail treatment program, not prison. Now he has a new life, a job, a wife and kids, but will NEVER be able to get that felony off his record. What ever happened to "paying your debt to society"? It amounts to a life sentence for doing something while you're young and dumb.