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Navy Enlistment Policy for Prior Drug Usage Pg-2

Navy Drug Waivers

Updated: October 13, 2017

2,506 Responses to “Navy Drug Waivers”

  1. NCCM(ret) says:


    I assume he is thinking the letter will sway Navy Recruiting to process your waiver, he is grabbing at straws, and he is wrong. A congressional letter will not push your waiver through by having Navy Recruiting rescind its current policy of not processing felony full kit waivers.

  2. Paul says:

    I was upfront with my recruiter that I received a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge (the only charge I’ve ever received for .017 gram of marijuana – not even a speeding ticket). The charge was expunged on the grounds of good behavior and completion of my probation and community service. When I asked my recruiter if I would be ineligible for an MA rating based on my charge, his answer was unclear but I did not want to push the issue. Will my charge make me ineligible for an MA rating?

  3. NCCM(ret) says:

    The instruction states for the Master at Arms rating;

    No civil involvement within past 36 months (except minor traffic). No drug or alcohol waivers. Must be eligible for security clearance.

  4. CJ says:

    In 1992 I used LSD twice in one week, and never touched it again. I have used marijuana about 8 times and not since I was 18 (I am now 32). Since then, I have 11 years of government service, almost have a master degree completed and currently hold an active TS clearance eligibility. I have no criminal charges and no other issues in my background. Am I eligible for service in the Navy and I am interested in the MA and intel ratings. I am open to other ratings if those are not possible.

    Thank you

  5. NCCM(ret) says:


    You are ineligible for Master at Arms, and would require a waiver for the intel ratings.

  6. JC says:

    When do you think the fulll kit waivers will be raised? And is tehre a way a recruiter can do it for certain people?

  7. NCCM(ret) says:


    No idea, but the way things are currently, I do see the moratorium being lifted any time soon.

    I am not aware of any caveats to the policy, you would need to discuss that with your recruiter.

  8. Joe says:

    When I was 16 I received a simple possession of marijuana ticket. I took classes and had the ticket removed and I have been clean since(I understand that the ticket will appear on a background check). I was just wondering if I was eligible for a waiver? also does this ticket affect me from ever receiving a commission?
    -Thanks for your time

  9. NCCM(ret) says:


    You require a civil waiver for the possession of MJ (link to the chart is in the post). How much the charge affects your chances at a commission or and enlistment depends on the the program or designator and every other aspect of your life to date.

  10. jonathan says:

    i have a Probation Violation–Misdemeanor how will that affect me in joing the Navy

  11. NCCM(ret) says:


    Use the moral/civil waiver link in the post – a violation of probation is a non-traffic offense.

  12. Steve says:

    Hello Sir,

    I am 30 years old. I have smoked marijuana approx 10 times in my life, the last time being about five years ago. I tried cocain twice when I was 18. Having no guidance, I filed bankruptcy for 10k in debt at age 22. Since then, I have gone on to attain 3.9 GPA en route to a BA from a top-ranked university, followed by a MS from an equally renowned institution. I have had no credit, police, or drug issues since then. I was previously recruited by a civilian federal agency requiring TS/SCI, and they were aware of all of these issues before extending me an offer. I chose to try for a commission in the Navy. I assume the Navy can, but is there a reasonable chance they will use the “whole person” concept as the civilian side did? There is nothing but a positive trajectory in my life and achievements since faltering in my youth (8-12 years ago). My commission, like the civilian offer, would be in intelligence (allows applicants up to age 35).Thank you for your time.

  13. Steve says:

    I forgot to mention that I also had a DUI charge at age 18 that was dropped upon attending a diversion program, with only a reckless driving on my record – small fine and some community service.Again, all these issues taken in sum seem like a lot, but they are all 8-12 years ago when I was 18-22.Law was a one-off instance. Drugs have been so few in quantity over a 14 year period (16 to present) and the financial issue was just stupid, but I didn’t know better, nor have I repeated it. Everything since then (8 years) has been pretty much blemish free (save one instance of smoking pot 6 years ago when I was in college). If an exclusice agency with as strict if not more strict requirements was able to see beyond this, do you believe the Navy might? Can they? My boards are in two months, and I am currently finishing my package. Thank you again.

  14. NCCM(ret) says:


    You meet the minimum requirements for consideration. Your “Behind the Wheel” charge (any alcohol involvement while driving, no matter what the state calls it, is equally bad in the Navy’s eye) along with your previous drug usage will have to be waived – the Navy does use the “whole person” concept. The process is very competitive. Contact your local officer recruiter.

  15. Charles says:

    I am 22, looking to join the SEALs as an OCS candidate. I used Cannabis for 1 and 1/2 years and haven’t touched the substance since becoming 18 years of age. It sounds like this is a typical case of needing a waiver, but I am wondering if there is any issues with attempting to become an officer.

    Thanks is advance.

  16. NCCM(ret) says:


    The standard is the same; however, the scrutiny may be more.

  17. Erica says:


    I had a quick question for you. About a year ago I had experimented with opiates. I felt it was getting a little out of hand so before it went any futher I voluntarily checked myself into a 2 week rehabilitation program which I completed. After that I also voluntarily entered into a recovery program, where they suggested I get on a medication called Suboxone (which I didn’t feel I needed), and I am still on because apparently you have to be weaned off (and I will be off this medication very soon).In the recovery program I also had to take drug screens every week (which I passed), and completed that as well. If I were given a drug screen now I would most certainly pass, I have 9 months drug and alcohol free and I have every sincere intention on keeping it that way. I am ready to be a part of something bigger than myself, and want nothing more than to be a part of the U.S Navy. Will my past stint in rehab keep me from being able to enlist? Thanks


  18. NCCM(ret) says:


    Before you would be eligible for waiver consideration, two years would have to pass once you have completed ALL treatment.

  19. Erica says:

    Thanks for answering my question-I was a little confused because the above literature states “The use of controlled substances…is a minimum of a one year waiting period after use before a waiver could be considered.”, and I’m almost at a year. I intend on being completely honest with my recruiter.I have an appt. with him next Wed. and he told me they were very short on females enlisting-do you think that there could be any exception made? I’ve already been honest about my marijuana use and my one arrest more than a year ago and in more or less words he said there pretty much wasn’t a problem becuase it was only a misdemeanor and becuase I had only smoked marijuana a dozen or so times.So becuase of the lack of females do you think an exception might be able to be made? I truly appreciate all of your feedback and your time-thank you!

  20. Sean says:

    I have a poss. of marijuana charger with a paraphernelia charge attached to it and a 2nd poss charge. I fully understand its a big deal and i did it to myself. Regardless, I have been clean for over a year and want to get my life back on track.Other than the above charges i have a clean record. I have ALWAYS wanted to be in the military. The army was my first choice but with the charges i have NO shot. I kinda was hoping to hear if i had any shot in the Navy. If I dont i understand why but i thought it would be better to ask you than waste a recruiters time. Thank you

  21. NCCM(ret) says:


    Your only hope is if they group the first possession of MJ with the paraphernalia charge – that can only be done if the Navy recruiter can forward your court records to Navy Recruiting legal for review. Chances are not good, but it is worth the shot.

  22. Kait says:

    Hello! I have been recently interested in joining the navy possibly working as a mass communication specialist. But a month or two ago I had smoked marijuana two times and in high school I have drank alcohol at a couple house parties. Could these be wavered? And do I need to wait a certain amount of time to join because of the marijuana use?

  23. NCCM(ret) says:


    Based on what you told me, you do not require a waiver.

    Do not go to MEPS if you have THC in your system.

  24. melissa says:

    Okay. I smoke pot,used to as of yesterday, but never intend to again because its stupid. How long do i have to be clean for before enlisting? I understand i need to be clean but for how long and i will sign a waiver with full intention to be drug free forever, i just want be a sailor soooo bad! Oh ya i have a couple prostitution charges how does that affect my chances.

    Thank you

  25. NCCM(ret) says:


    I suggest that you are at least 3 months marijuana free to ensure the THC is out of your system before proceeding. For two charges of prostitution, waiver consideration is possible if otherwise qualified.

  26. Gideon says:

    I have a intent to distribute(party to a crime) charge that has been dropped to a possession charge upon completion of’s from 10 years ago. I’m 28 and it’s the only thing on my record other than a couple speeding tickets. Do I have any shot what so ever?

  27. NCCM(ret) says:


    The fact that the “intent to distribute” was dropped after a condition was met would mean that you’re ineligible for waiver consideration.

  28. Gideon says:

    That certainly is disheartening. Why is it that they are so strict on this? There are people getting waivers for multiple offenses suggesting a pattern of bad behavior and decisions. Then someone like me who has one blemish, a despicable blemish I will admit, cannot even be considered for a waiver. I strive to live by the word of God and it just doesn’t feel fair. I have an opportunity to go to college and have it completely paid for. Honestly though my heart is set on the military and serving the country. Is there any action whatsoever I could take to get enlisted into any branch?

  29. Cindy says:

    My son is interested in joining any branch of the military that he can. He has one felony charge of aiding and abetting, when he was 16. Can he get a waiver?

  30. NCCM(ret) says:


    What was he aiding and abetting?

  31. Eric says:

    I have two charges in the past year and a half. One is for drug paraphernalia and the other is for disorderly conduct. I have since cleaned myself up and turned over a new leaf. I want to join the Navy or any military service that would accept me. Am I eligible? Also, before it became disorderly conduct I was charged with possession of marijuana, paraphernalia, possession of K2, and possession while operating a motor vehicle…now all of those were dropped and I was convicted of just one count of disorderly conduct.

  32. NCCM(ret) says:


    Your eligibility will be dependent on the details of your court records; specifically, the verbiage concerning the how and why the charges that were dropped. Navy Recruiting Legal would have to review the documentation to make a determination.

  33. KB says:

    When I filled out the required paperwork, I revealed that I smoked pot once. Will that effect me in anyway at MEPS?

  34. Joe says:

    In college I received a Minor in Possession of alcohol ticket by the campus police, but it was removed from my disciplinary records after I completed alcohol education, how should I go about reporting this?

  35. NCCM(ret) says:


    You provide that information to your recruiter. It will need to be listed in your application.

  36. Phil says:

    3 months clean of pot in which i smoked everyday for almost 10 months. I also blew Oxycontin every once in awhile along with other random pills but have been sober of that for more then a year. What are my chances of getting into the Navy?

  37. Joe says:

    Thanks. I know I’ll probably need an alcohol waiver for that, but how exactly will that increase my chances of getting rejected, if at all? It’s a minor incident, all considered…

  38. NCCM(ret) says:


    If you are otherwise a good candidate, your chances of being rejected for that charge are slim.

  39. NCCM(ret) says:


    Not familiar with the term, “blew Oxycontin”, but that along with your use of “been sober” indicates you may have required some sort of drug treatment??

  40. chris says:

    Hi I am in the process of joining the navy something I always wanted to do in life. I’ve made the mistake of getting fired from my two previous jobs. One for tardiness. The other is theft, I was taking snacks out of the lounge and was going to pay them back until one day they said enough was enough and I was fired. I had to write a statements and was ordered to pay them back, in which I did as soon as possibly. My recruiter says to either leave the job out, or the navy wont care about that incident. Im being honest and told the recruiter what happened. I don’t do drugs or anything stupid except the whole snack thing. So my question is will I get disqualified for something so stupid??

  41. NCCM(ret) says:


    Make sure the charge is listed – you would be eligible for a waiver.

  42. Holmes says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I was charged with possession with intent to sell to marijuana less than 20 grams, would I still be able to enlist into the navy or navy reserve? All of the events happened when I was about 14 or 15, haven’t been in any trouble since, and I graduated from high school with honors.

  43. NCCM(ret) says:


    Anyone with an adversely adjudicated charge of possession of any controlled substance with intent to distribute, including marijuana, is ineligible for enlistment, and there is no waiver consideration authorized.

  44. NCCM(ret) says:


    If you are otherwise qualified, you should not have a problem with the waiver.

  45. chris says:

    There wasn’t a charge no police were involved I still put it on the form because I wanted to be honest about it. Will this allow me to join navy?? I paid them back on a agreement between me and loss prevention. But the cops weren’t involved I paid them shortly after. I know it was a stupid decision, and I’m just hoping the navy understands.

  46. Jon says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if I’d be eligible to enlist as an officer in the navy. I used marijuana regularly for 15 years from ages 16-31. Also took a slew of recreational drugs in the past but never habitually. I’m 32 now and haven’t used any drug in over six months and am done with them. I have no arrests ever. Got 3 traffic tickets over 7 years ago, all I paid on time. I was prescribed anti-depressants for about 3.5 years, got off them about 4 months ago. I still currently take a low dose of PRN Klonopin as prescribed by my doctor. Solid employment record, all employers will provide positive references.

  47. NCCM(ret) says:


    Even if you were able to get a waiver for your previous drug usage, you would not be eligible to join the Navy because of your depression diagnosis and the fact that you are still taking medication for it. Before you could even have any shot at passing the physical, your treatment for depression, including any medications, would have to be stopped for a minimum of 3 years before the medical waiver – if the documents warrant – could be considered. If you were deemed cured today and lead a perfect life for the 3 years post treatment, you would then be beyond the maximum age to join (before your 35th birthday).

  48. Pat says:


    I’m hoping you may be able to answer a few questions for me. I’m 24 years old, have a bachelor’s in linguistics, and currently working a full time job while earning a certificate in paralegal studies. I’m also in really good shape and work out three times a week. I was treated for anxiety and depression in highschool. I was on medication and in therapy. At 18, I stopped it all together because I felt I didn’t need it anymore. I scored well on the ASVAB in highschool and the military has been in the back of my mind since then.

    However, my college years were rather wild. I smoked marijuana frequently and did one other hard drug infrequently but more than what could qualify as experimenting. I was never addicted, however, and did them recreationally.

    However, I still did exceptionally well in college. I graduated 2nd in my class and maintained a 4.0 GPA.

    It’s been three years since I touched drugs. At the time, I was under the false impression that as long as I could pass a drug test, that I’d be alright. In fact, many of the people I associated with when I used to do drugs were in the National Guard, and I saw them doing drugs as well. They’d just “clear” out their systems using expensive drinks from health stores to pass drug tests.

    Years later, the military has moved from the back of my mind to the forefront. Everyday, for the past year, it’s all I can think about. I loved linguistics in school and would love to use what I learned in the service. I find the ability to travel the world so exciting. Anyway, now that I’m doing the research it’s become apparent to me that this drug use could very well disqualify me from joining.

    I brought it up to a family member who is a recruiter in the service and was told: “just say no” to a recruiter. I’m uncomfortable doing this. I was told the background checks are not that in-depth and and since there’s nothing on my record, I’d be fine. My credit is good and I don’t have a criminal record–not even a speeding ticket. However, my research has led me to believe that specializing as a cryptologic linguist would require a high security clearance. This is another reason I wouldn’t want to lie.

    The service is my dream, and I don’t want to get in because I lied. It doesn’t sit well with me at all. The bottom line is I’m a changed person, and at one time I did make very bad decisions. I’ve happily moved past it all and am solely focused on doing the right thing for my future.

    I’m hesitant to speak with a recruiter in person at this point because, I don’t really know if I even have a chance. I think it’s wonderful you have answered so many questions posed by people on here, and would really appreciate your response.

    Thank you.

  49. NCCM(ret) says:


    Experimental use of stimulant or depressant drugs, narcotics, hallucinogenic, or psychedelic drugs over one year ago would require a waiver, as would the use of marijuana over 6 months ago (anything sooner would be disqualifying) for the cryptology ratings. Enlistment and or program waivers for drug usage greater than what would be determined to be experimental would not receive wavier consideration at this time.

  50. Pat says:

    Thank you for your response, it’s good to know where I stand.

    Have a great weekend,


  51. Amy says:

    Hi i am 22 years old. I got expelled from High school for smoking pot. But didn’t do any jail time or got it put on my records. I have my GED and college credits. Do I need a waiver or is it better to not say anything???

  52. NCCM(ret) says:


    It is never a good idea to withhold information during the enlistment process. As a matter of fact, the recruiters would be required to get your high school transcripts because you did not finish.

  53. Zachary Reeves says:

    Hey if ive done drugs before (I dont do them now and never will again) will i still be eligible for the Navy SEALs? please i need an honest answer thank you

  54. NCCM(ret) says:


    Drug use other than the experimental use of marijuana is disqualifying for the SO rating.

  55. Zachary Reeves says:

    What if i have only done marijuana for a short period of time many years ago?

  56. Roger says:

    I smoked marijuana as a kid for a reasonable amount of time. I was suspended from school for it and also got a possession ticket which was dismissed. When I was smoking marijuana I got myself a medical prescription for it, but no longer smoke. I am now a beach lifeguard and can not see myself working in any civilian job. All of my actions took place before I was 18 and I was wondering if my past actions would disqualify me from joining the navy, particularly the AIRR division because it is my passion to help people in intense situations. Also I was wondering what a security clearance was and if there was no way passing it now.

    thank you, Roger

  57. NCCM(ret) says:


    You are not eligible for AIRR. No waiver authorized.

    You would require a drug waiver for your marijuana use and a moral/criminal waiver for the possession to enlist in the military.

  58. orient says:


    I’ve been reading through the comments on this page. I just wanted to say I found them very helpful.

    After speaking with a recruiter and taking the practice ASVAB, my recruiter recommended I look into the NAVY’s nuke program, which I am very interested in. When I was in college, and for awhile after I finished, I smoked weed (for about a year total). Sometimes daily, sometimes just a couple times a week. I have not smoked in over a year, and I do not plan to smoke again in the future. After reading the previous posts, it seems like this is not disqualifying if I get a waiver. Is that the case? I mentioned this to my recruiter already but he did not ask me how many times/for how long. I have begun also started filling out the paperwork for a TS security clearance, and I was honest about my prior usage.

    What are your thoughts/opinions on this? I am a 23 year old male with a spotless criminal records, and good grades in college.


  59. NCCM(ret) says:


    The amount of usage you describe will require a waiver from the highest level for the Nuclear Power program.

  60. orient says:

    Thanks for the reply! Is this waiver going to be hard to obtain? If the waiver were denied, would I be able to enlist with a different job that does not have such a high security clearance level?

    Thanks again!

  61. Alex says:

    I was cited for possession of a usable amount of marijuana in October of 2009 (I can count the number of times I smoked before that point on one hand). Prior to that, I had two citations for underage possession of alcohol. I haven’t smoked in two years and am, at best, a casual drinker. I have a BA with 3.4 GPA, am bilingual, and really want to apply to Navy OCS when I’m finished with my master’s degree in 2013. What are my chances of getting the waivers necessary to join and what restrictions will I continue to face even if I get the waivers?

  62. NCCM(ret) says:


    I do not know what your chances would be for a commission, I suggest you contact your local officer recruiter for a detailed response.

  63. Ruby says:

    I am a 34 yo female who has a history of methamphetamine abuse (never arrested except for an alchol related DUI in October 2010). I stopped using methamphetamine as of 7/10/11 and quit drinking 7/31/11. I have a sponsor and am working a 12 step program. I did graduate high school in 1993 when I was 16. Because of my past drug/alcohol abuse and due to my age I was wondering if I still have any shot at enlisting in the Navy, possibly the reserves?

  64. NCCM(ret) says:


    Once you have been released from any drug treatment for for dependence a minimum of two years, and you are otherwise fully qualified, you may be considered for a waiver.

  65. Garrett says:


    I am currently in my first year of college, but I am looking to enlist in the Navy, because I have discovered that college does not interest me (not to make it seem like joining the Navy was just some spur-of-the-moment decision; I’ve done thorough research). I have tried marijuana three times while in college, but it has been over a month since I last used it (I know the exact date when I resolved to not touch the stuff again, for what it’s worth). I will not use it ever again, and though I have spent time around people while they have been using it since I stopped, I have had no problem not partaking in its use.

    From what I have read from the comments above (Kait’s question, specifically), it seems this may not require a waiver simply for enlistment in the Navy in general. However, if I were interested in the EOD program (similar to Zach’s desire to become an SO, I suppose), how would this affect my enlistment, as recent as the usage was? Is it possible (or necessary) to receive a waiver for this to join the EOD program? And if so, is there a reasonable amount of time I should wait before having any hope to enlist for the EOD program?

    Additionally, would two minor traffic offenses present any problems in my situation?

    Thank you very much for your assistance,

  66. NCCM(ret) says:


    Once the THC has cleared your system, you would be eligible for a EOD program waiver if otherwise qualified.

  67. Christopher says:

    I am interested in becoming a Navy MA. I smoked weed in college but have no prior convictions of any kind. I have never been arrested and have no history of mental issues. Would this disqualify me from my dream of working in law enforcement? Thank you for your time.

  68. NCCM(ret) says:


    For the Master at Arms rating, you will require a waiver for your marijuana use.

  69. Christopher says:

    A form online said waivers are not permitted for MA. So I am out of luck? One more thing sir, I have 1/8″ holes in my ears where there was once guaged earrings. I know it isn’t a drug issue, but would this be an issue for enlistment?

  70. NCCM(ret) says:


    Not sure what forum is putting that out – it is a local program waiver that the Commanding Officer can grant – it may be a local policy to the district that person may be familiar with, but I have not heard of any nationwide waiver stoppage for marijuana use.

    The holes in your ears would have to be closed to the point you cannot see through them.

  71. Adam says:


    I am almost finished with my AS in Computer Programming & I really want to join the Navy but I have experimented with drugs in my past. I’m going to be honest with my recruiter & take responsibility for my actions but I don’t waste my time or theirs if there’s no chance I’ll be accepted. So my question is if I have experimented with marijuana (2), methamphetamine (2), ecstasy (1), cocaine (3), & took some pain pills will I automatically be disqualified? I have not done any of this in two-three years & did all of this in about a 6 month span when I was 21 & I’m currently 24. I’ve worked for the some organization for 8 years & lived responsibly on my own since I was 21, I know it was an irresponsible thing to do but since then I’ve displayed much more maturity & responsibility in my life. I really appreciate your time & help in this matter.


  72. NCCM(ret) says:


    Navy Recruiting Command is not currently considering the waiver required with your prior aggregate drug usage.

  73. sean says:

    1 mip charge for drinking, one theft charge for stealing a movie at a Safeway, no charges for selling or being under the influence of marijuana with the law. Am i eligible to be a SEAL?

  74. NCCM(ret) says:


    As long as you are otherwise fully qualified, you would be eligible for waiver consideration.

  75. Tera says:

    I smoked marijuana once about a year and a half ago. I was maybe 15 or 16 at the time. There were no charges, arrests, court, nothing of the sort. I heard that no waivers whatsoever are being given out though. So am i banned from enlisting due to that one incident?

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