Vindictive doctor

Hello all,
I recently decided I want to become a pilot, but I’m concerned about the possibility of my medical being denied due to a doctor I used to go to claiming I have a cannabis use disorder. For some background, I live in Washington and at the time I was only smoking at night to unwind and my doctor was anti-weed. My criminal record is clean and I’ve never failed a drug test and I have stopped smoking since then. What do you think my chances are of getting a first class medical or working for the majors?


First and foremost, we are not medical professionals nor can we tell you whether you can obtain a medical or not. We always recommend consulting an Aviation Medical Examinator (AME) for any medical questions. When completing the FAA MedXpress application is will ask for medical history and then provide a section for comments. If you do have previous history, not only will your AME want to know what/why, the FAA certainly will too. Below is a screenshot from a medical application I found:

You can find the nearest AME using this link: :point_down:t2:

As per the airlines, you could contact a recruiter and inquire them to see what they have to say.



The thing is that the FAA and the airlines are also anti drug use. You might think your doctor is being vindictive, but the FAA will ask if you have ever used illegal drugs and you will need to answer that truthfully. You see, plenty of jobs are stressful and carry over into night time stress, but the FAA does not want you using illegal drugs (they are still federally illegal).

I honestly have no idea how the FAA will process your application. You need to meet with a FAA AME to discuss your situation. As for the airlines, you will need to contact the recruiting departments of several airlines and ask them directly.


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Did the Dr ever have you arrested or file charges against you? If he did you’ll have to jump through some hoops if he didn’t you won’t.

Btw, if it does come up IF pot was illegal at the time, your “I only smoked it at night to unwind” will not go over well with the FAA or the airlines. Both want people who obey the law whether they agree with it or not.



Unless that doctor is an AME, you shouldn’t have an issue stemming from the poor relationship with that doctor. Only an AME can decide to issue a medical or not. However, you will need to be honest and disclose your substance history in the application and with the AME.



Thank you for the advice, and the link and screenshot were quite helpful. I’ll definitely reach out to the recruiters and aim my questions toward an AME.


Nothing happened with the legal system, and I live in Washington and didn’t smoke until after I turned 21. I absolutely agree with you on the part about following the law, and I try to do my best to follow it.


I understand and agree with what you’re saying about the illegal drug use. Because of this, I stopped smoking once I decided I wanted to be a pilot. From what I’m seeing, as i was never dependent on anything and my doctor listed cannabis use it seems like at a minimum I might just have to wait two years? Thank you for pointing me to additional resources I can follow up on.


As far as I’m aware he is not an AME, though I will check into that. I have no intent of trying to hide it or anything, I just want to make sure I don’t spend a bunch of money with no payoff.


I disagree with Adam and Hannah, I think you will have a difficult time obtaining a medical. But again, an AME is really the best source.


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