Marijuana Use in High School


New Member
Sep 7, 2016
I'm a high school senior and SA hopeful for 2021. I used marijuana about 15-20 times my freshman-junior years of high school. I have since seen many of the negative effects it can have and at the beginning of the summer decided to permanently abstain. I am reporting this on the DoDMERB survey, and I'm wondering wether this would be considered a DQ, as I haven't yet found a case similar to mine. I never bought marijuana, never smoked alone, and only ever smoked if asked by friends. Again, I understand the moral arguments and do not really need to hear them, just wondering on a strictly medical basis. Thank you!
I am not sure why you state...I never bought, smoked alone and only did it with friends. It has no sway on them if you are under the mindset that it can impact being DQ. IOWS, it is simple.. did you smoke marijuana? Your answer is yes? How many times? Your answer is .you smoked marijuana at least 15 times. since you were 15 yr old.

DoDMERB does not care how it came about that you smoked it, just the fact that you smoked it.

Next, for DoDMERB all they do is qualify or disqualify you by the standards set forth by the commissioning source. I don't know of anyone here that knows for sure what the magic number is for DoDMERB to dq any candidate. What they are looking for, and this is just MY OPINION, habitual or experimental, frequency, last use, etc. That is what I am talking about regarding the magic number, because there will be a line they will draw by DoDMERB that was set forth by the DoD.

If DQ'd than the commissioning source is the one to request a waiver. This is important to understand. USNA may say no waiver, but NROTC may waive. Same branch, but different commissioning source. Just like USAFA may say no and USMA waives...different commissioning sources.

Finally, and impo, the most important thing here. DO NOT SHADE those numbers in the hopes that you will not be DQd. You will also need to get a security clearance somewhere down the road. If you say I did it 10 times on that DoDMERB, but later on for your security clearance you say 15 times, than there will be an issue bc that exam is on your record. When did the 5 more times occur...after the exam when applying for your clearance, or did you lie on the exam intake questionnaire? Neither option results in a positive way.

All you can do is be honest, do the exam and wait for the results.

JMPO, but I would be prepared for a DQ and to go through the waiver process. Not preaching, just saying 15-20 times over 2 yrs and the last time being only less than a year ago, I would say you passed the experimental level a long time ago. Plus, it has been a short amount of time since your last use of marijuana. You state junior yr., you are now a senior. At the very best it is 1 yr ago since you last partook in marijuana as a minor.

They don't expect you all to be angels with halos. They understand that many, many candidates have smoked or drank underage.
Thanks Pima. The only reason I stated the conditions was because they indicate a lack of chemical dependence. Additionally I have no intention whatsoever of shading numbers. The period was more like three years, which brings down the average frequency, but doesn't really make it better. The worst part is that last use is just over two months ago, which certainly doesn't help :/. Will DoDMERB listen to any reasoning on my part or is it strictly numbers for them?
DoDMERB impo is strictly numbers, that is why waivers occur. The waivers do not come from DoDMERB it comes from the commissioning source. Myabe Mabry (poster here can give you more insight)

I get what you are saying about indicating a lack of chemical dependence, but now you are opening a different can of worms from a waiver aspect....if it was not chemical dependence than why did you do it?
Think about that for a do you defend yourself for a waiver? I know you didn't want the moral arguments, but it truly is tied to it when you talk about becoming an officer.
~ Bored? Everyone else was doing it? Didn't think this action could impact my future. Are you getting where I am coming from? I am not the moral police, but I will say I find it hard to explain smoking pot every 6 weeks over a 2 yr period if asked those questions.

I do not know which SA, but have you informed your ALO/BGO/FFR of this issue? If not, I suggest you do it now. They are most likely going to find out sooner or later.
~ I.E. they check in with you and you say I was DQd. Why? Because I smoked marijuana 15-20 times.
The last thing they want or you want is for them to be caught behind the 8 ball. They are volunteers that exist to help you navigate the process. I cannot speak for USNA or USMA, but I know for USAFA, the ALO's submit recs. that are part of your WCS, or at least they use to be.
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I don't think it would be very tough to explain. The emotional maturation I experienced that led to my interest in an SA also led to my permanent abstinence from pot, and the two were independent of each other. To some extent, the "didn't think it would affect my future" is correct, because my brothers had influenced me that way from a young age, when they started doing drugs. The realizations that they and some of my old friends were ruining their lives snapped me out of that mindset. I also would be interested in the opinion of someone from DoDMERB on the objective vs. subjective argument here. Additionally, the SA I'm applying to has no provisions for self reporting like AF's 2030, so I think it would be worse to tell the Academy but then Q than to get DQ and have to try again. Thanks again for your input Pima I'll keep it in mind.
At least you now have the makings of a good essay on overcoming adversity

It is nearly impossible for many of the old guard including myself to understand how anyone can consume illegal drugs. I salute you for realizing it was leading you down a path you didn't want to be traveling and I respect that you are willing to own your mistakes.

Let us know what DoDMERB says and good luck.
The worst part is that last use is just over two months ago,
I don't think it would be very tough to explain. The emotional maturation I experienced that led to my interest in an SA also led to my permanent abstinence from pot

This may be tough to explain. Smoking pot on and off for a 2 yr period and quitting for 2 months is not a track record of permanent abstinence.

Having said that, your mistakes are in the past and you can't change that, but you can be honest about it and face the music. They will be looking for honest, ethical behavior from any potential future leader.

Good luck.