Attention all former cocaine, heroin, and marijuana users! Would you like a job as a police officer?

As The Free Thought Project recently reported, states all across the union are lowering their standards for application and admission to become police officers. And now the mainstream media is picking up on the phenomena.

According to the New York Times, the very agencies which, for a hundred years or more, have locked people up for heroin, cocaine, and marijuana possession, are now courting former users to join their ranks. And the public is supposed to believe they’re not lowering their already low standards. Yeah right!

It’s already easier to become a police officer than it is to be a hair stylist. Now, police departments in metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Phoenix, and Detroit are getting desperate for new recruits. They’re needing 1,000 officers in Chicago, 300 in Phoenix, and 200 in Detroit.

Chicago, often called “Chiraq” because more Americans die from murder there than in war zones around the world, has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. It’s also suffering from a lack of confidence in policing and police leadership.


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthey in 2015 after the shooting death of African American Laquan McDonald by a White police officer set off a firestorm of controversy. The firing also had an unintended consequence, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, police stopped doing their jobs. Many resigned and relocated creating the 1,000 member deficit in the ranks.

In Phoenix, after a years-long battle with the Obama Administration, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was voted out of office. “Sheriff Joe” as he was known, was either loved or hated, but hardly anyone fell in-between. He’s retired now. And retiring with him are hundreds of more officers who were biding their time until retirement. The crisis is so bad, detectives are being reassigned as patrolmen.

Detroit’s issues may be more crime and economic related than simply not wanting to be an officer. Nevertheless, Detroit is seeking to fill hundreds of positions and have reported people simply aren’t interested in becoming law enforcement officers.

Now, apparently, police departments are getting so desperate, they’re willing to cut corners and lower both physical and drug-use requirements to attract more applicants. And the exacerbation is not limited to Phoenix, Chicago, and Detroit. The NY Times writes;

New Orleans, with more than 400 openings, no longer automatically disqualifies those who have injected heroin or smoked crack. Aurora, Colo., has stopped using military-style running tests, but now checks how quickly candidates can get out of a squad car.

Here’s a list of police department policy changes the Times documented;

1. Maryland changed its policy to allow for past drug use.

2. Louisville, KY no longer requires two years of college credits.

3. New Orleans dropped its no-prior-recreational-drug-use rule, now allowing for marijuana outside of last two years, and harder drugs, like crack and heroin, no sooner than 10 years prior.

4. NYPD now allowing turbans, beards, and studs.

Lowering the bar to allow drug use should come as no surprise given the fact that a federal court ruled police departments across the nation can discriminate against applicants who are too smart.

This decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to condone the ability of police departments to discriminate against smart people is one of the most profoundly ridiculous moves ever made. But it also tends to explain the state of police departments today.

It is important to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone who used to use crack or heroin. Beating an addiction takes very strong resolve and an epic level of dedication. That being said, however, police departments actually hinder that road to recovery by treating addiction as a criminal act.

It would take a true hypocrite to kick their habit without going to jail only to join the police department and throw people in jail for the very same thing.

So, in essence, the slogan, “If you don’t like police, next time call a crack-head,” is now being taken seriously by law enforcement agencies all across the country. It could now be re-written as “Crackheads wanted to become police officers: Old rules no longer apply. No education necessary. Here’s your badge and your gun.”

Instead of merely pointing out the idea that police are lowering their standards, it is also important to pose a solution to this problem.

The overwhelming majority of police work these days consists of revenue collection through the enforcement of immoral drug laws and traffic citations for victimless crimes, like window tint. If police departments across the country turned their focus from revenue generation to crime prevention, America would need fewer cops and animosity between the police and the policed would drop, dramatically.

To ignore the fact that the war on drugs is creating crime is a negligent and dangerous act. And, until it’s brought to an end, we can only expect this problem to get worse.

To learn how much better the situation in America can be by ending the drug war, check out our solutions page here.

  • Damiana

    You can’t have it both ways, Free Thought Project – either drug users are just unfortunate people who shouldn’t have their lives ruined over what should be a medical issue, or they’re SCUM who should never be police officers.

    I realize the GLARING hypocrisy at play here, but one cannot rebuke a hypocrite with hypocrisy of their own. It just gets silly, after a point!

    • Guy

      Is that sort of like putting the bell on the (Cat) and then say you’re hard of hearing !?

    • TOPDOG1

      Anyone who does not know the difference between a harmless, beneficial and healthful plant like marijuana and a dangerous and deadly chemical concoction like meth does not belong in any position of responsibility. Especially in law enforcement or political office .Likewise; Idiots in the public should be confined to a child’s playroom with toys and safe items so they wont be allowed to harm themselves.

  • Damiana

    A’ight, I’ve gotta say I’m kind of against this bullshit, but on completely novel grounds. See, the ONLY way the NOPD would know that a prospective cadet has used heroin and/or crack would be if they fail a drug test (meaning they’re using it presently) or if they CONFESS felony-level drug use to a bunch of cops from whom they want a job. That is some weapons-grade stupidity.

    • Dan Quixoté

      ‘Weapons-grade stupidity’ — Good turn of phrase

    • Jamie Hall

      And cops are not weapons-grade stupid to begin with? SMH

  • Wow TFTP, I guess drug addicts are tarnished for life and unfit for public service.

    • James Conway

      Your unfit to be called a human. No wonder you used the name facespace your a waste of skin. Clearly you’ve been fed on silver spoons your whole life and have never had it bad enough to want to escape. Your part of the reason those poor people cant get better. Ignorant fool

      • I was trying to call out this site for trashing former drug addicts.

    • TOPDOG1

      Likewise; The Authoritarians used this tactic, mostly with MJ and of giving blacks and liberals fake felony convictions. This removed them from the voting roster. Blacks were the most disenfranchised. Even today very many, and millions of others, are denied the right to vote. This ancient ploy of divide and conquer worked (almost) perfectly. All persons should be restored their right to vote…

  • Dan Quixoté

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see how any of these “lower standards” mentioned above have any bearing on whether a cop will be more or less of a menace to society than the precedent life and thought paths that lead people to that occupation, and the conditioning that follows once on the job.

    • Damiana

      Good point. The problem with our police force is not that they’re idiots, it’s that they’re untouchable sadists who operate with complete impunity. You can’t educate that out of someone!

  • Yohn AV

    fuck the police

  • Jamie Hall

    There wouldn’t be any “shortage” of cops, perceived or otherwise, if they didn’t send half a squad to issue one bogus ticket or conduct bogus “investigations” and beat down any perceived opposition to the cowardly practice. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. But hey, if they really think their ranks are too thin, there’s always the private (gang) sector. Just saying.

  • Abz B Zbas

    Is that billboard real? If so, it displays an entirely new level of butthurt by police.

  • Genevieve Hawkins

    I disagree that it’s that easy to become a cop. It requires someone compromised, corrupt, power hungry or stupid to enforce corrupt laws, which most are anymore. It will take a toll on your conscience if you have one!