Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Complete Drug Testing Guide

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Complete Drug Testing Guide


All FBI workers and applicants might go through urine or hair drug test and a thorough background check. The FBI Drug Program Administrator is responsible for implementing, administering, and managing the drug free workplace in the FBI. 

The Federal Agency is responsible for conducting the background check by investigating applicants for significant cases of terrorism, violent crime, organized crime, cybercrime, and various other serious crimes.

Table of Contents:

Eligibility For Work

Applicants must not breach any automatic employment disqualifiers and adhere to the FBI's pre-employment drug test policies for employment consideration with the FBI.

The FBI has their drug free workplace program to ensure that the employees and applicants are free from drug addiction and abuse. During the Background Investigation Process, The FBI will look for certain disqualifiers mentioned below

  • A felony conviction (Only Special Agent candidates who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or a more serious charge will be considered.)
  • Violation of the FBI's Drug-Free Workplace Program.
  • Defaulting on a federally guaranteed student loan
  • Failure of a urinalysis drug test given by the FBI
  • Failure to register with Selective Service System (for males only)
  • Engaged in acts or operations with the intent of overthrowing the United States government through force.

If you fail any of the above, you may be considered ineligible to work with the FBI.

FBI Drug Tests

You'll have to pass a standard 5-panel urine drug test if you want to work for the FBI. The FBI has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs. However, you will not get barred from working for the FBI if you have ever illegally used illicit drugs. 

You must have a drug-free track record for – at least ten years for most illegal drugs and three years for MMJ. 

You may be ineligible for FBI employment if you have a history of selling, manufacturing, transporting, or distributing drugs that does not have any legal authority.

You will be put through a background check. The FBI background check can go back for upto seven years back in terms of criminal history, or felony.  

Legally Obtainable Substances/Prescription Drugs: Within the ten (10) years before the employment application date, candidates must not have used anabolic steroid abuse without a prescription from a licensed practicing physician.

Candidates and employees must not have illegally sold, distributed, produced, or transported any prescription medicine. If a candidate intentionally misrepresents their drug history on an employment application, they will be considered unsuitable for employment and automatically be disqualified. 

FBI Drugs Testing Methods

The FBI may conduct urine or hair drug test to identify the illegal drug traces in your system. If the preliminary urine drug test comes out as positive or false positive, they could confirm the result via Gas Chromatography (GC) or Mass Spectroscopy (MS) testing. The lookback period for employment drug testing varies depending on the specimen type (e.g., saliva, urine, hair).

When it comes to urine, the lookback period is usually the same week. The lookback time with a urine test can be as long as two or three weeks if the person is an MMJ user.

In the case of hair testing, there is a 90-day lookback period (and, in some cases, even longer). However, the hair test will reveal a pattern of frequent drug usage rather than acute drug use.

FBI MMJ Employment Policy

  • Candidates who have not consumed MMJ for at least a year before applying for a Federal Bureau of Investigation position can now be considered.
  • Earlier FBI standards required agents to have refrained from MMJ or cannabis products for at least three years in any location (domestic or abroad).
  • Candidates must not have consumed MMJ or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) or any location (domestic or international) in the one (1) year before the date of their employment application.
  • The use of MMJ or cannabis before the age of 18 is not a disqualifier for FBI employment. But the Adjudicative personnel will analyze the candidate using the "whole-person approach."
  • Candidates who have used MMJ more than twenty-four times after turning 18 years old in any location, regardless of the legality in that location, are disqualified for FBI employment.
  • Dronabinol (marketed as Marinol, Syndros, or generic equivalents) is the only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing pharmaceutical medicine that the FDA has approved for medical use. Candidates cannot utilize "MMJ cards" or other prescriptions as excuses for using MMJ or cannabis.
  • Do The FBI Drug Test Volunteers?

    You must fulfill FBI job appropriateness criteria, including policies regarding present and prior use of illegal drugs, and pass a complete background check, polygraph test, drug test, and personnel security interview before becoming a volunteer with the FBI. It could be best if you test yourself with urine and hair drug test kits before facing your FBI drug test.


    The FBI is a firm believer in a drug-free workplace and society. Applicants for FBI jobs who are currently using illegal drugs, misusing or abusing legal drugs, or abusing other substances for unlawful reasons at the time of application would be deemed unfit for employment.

    By selecting the best competent applicants, the FBI strikes a balance between the organization's demands and the significance of maintaining the public integrity required to carry out its law enforcement and intelligence objectives. All entities involved in the hiring process apply the criteria to decide if an applicant's prior drug use qualifies them for FBI employment. 


    How far back in time does the FBI conduct drug tests?

    Candidates must not have taken any illegal drugs other than MMJ ten years before the application deadline.

    Does the FBI test CBD?

    The FBI maintains its policy of immediately dismissing candidates and employees who have smoked MMJ within the previous three years.

    What is the duration of the FBI hair drug test?

    In general, hair has the longest detection time, followed by urine and oral fluid. Drugs in hair samples are detectable for up to 90 days, but drug traces can be identified in the urine for one to seven days or longer in chronic users and oral fluid for up to 48 hours.

    In general, hair has the longest detection time, followed by urine and oral fluid. Drugs in hair can be detected for up to a year.

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