Aspiring pilot questions about Med 1 cert

I am looking to get my med 1
I am an all in all healthy individual

In the past, I have had my medical marijuana card, and received a misdemeanor offence of improper transportation (A law that has since been struck down by the state supreme court though, yet still resides on my record) This is over 10 years old and can be expunged… I have not had my med card since 2016 and have not smoked cannabis since then. 

I have also been prescribed ADHD medication without a formal testing of ADHD(i think i was never tested). I have since stopped use of medications and can function well without them. 

I am now wanting to become a pilot and have applied for the loan and gotten into classes although, I have yet to try and get my Med1. I am worried that I wont be able to get my Med1 due to these decisions the young and dumb me made…

I'm not sure what forms I have to fill out or what they ask as of yet and am curious as to if it would be possible…
I am currently working on getting the improper transport of medical marijuana expunged and plan to go through the med1 exam after that is done. 

Can anyone give me some guidance as to how to move forward?
 Is there any chance to still become a commercial pilot? 

5 Replies
1629 Posts

@Mike Pealot
First, the fact that your past convictions might be expunged changes nothing.  The question you have to answer begins “Have you ever…”  That means “at any time in your life", and the fact remains that you were in fact convicted.  You will have to disclose that conviction and your past use of marijuana, which remains a Federal offense even if the state in which you used it says otherwise.  Your application will be deferred for further FAA consideration.  You may only have to explain and submit to drug testing, you might be required to undergo neuropsychiatric evaluation, and you might be flatly denied – offenses involving transportation of illegal drugs ae viewed much more seriously than simple use.

ADHD meds are another big red flag regardless of the reason for their prescription.  Especially in combination with marijuana use, you should expect them to require a full neuropsych evaluation, which is both expensive ($5-10K) and not covered by your medical insurance.  The fact that you no longer use either marijuana or those meds is a help, but probably won't get you out of going through all those protocols.

The best person i know to ask about your particular situation is Dr. Bruce Chien, a specialist In difficult medical certifications, whom you can contact through his website



@Ronald Levy

First, the fact that your past convictions might be expunged changes nothing.

According to my lawyer, this is not correct. Upon expungement, I am no longer legally required to divulge that conviction upon any circumstances. 

Also, I have no idea as to what form your talking about or what it entails, so how am I to know this?  

The only form I have seen is a 8500-5 of which does not contain that question. 

What forms are required for my med1?

The fact that the FAA cares to this extent is a bit ridiculous, If someone is healthy and can pass a physical and a drug screening, then what more can they do?  The FAA should just institute more regular drug screening, if no drugs are found then what the F does the past matter? 

This seems to be more about the FAA not wanting to have any liability upon accidents occurring, yet a pilot can still lie on the forms get clearance and they would be none the wiser..

Seems like a great structure. 
Very trustworthy process….Taste a bit like Swiss cheese. 

Thanks for your response Ronald. 

1629 Posts

@Mike Pealot
You need to speak with a lawyer more familiar with the Federal law on this issue, and the form is FAA Form 8500-8.  The question involved is 18w.  And see 14 CFR 61.15.

As for lying about your past and believing the FAA will never find out, the record is replete with the cases of those who tried, and the punishment is revocation of any and all FAA certificates you have, plus the potential for jail time for violating 18 USC 1001 (which, too, has happened).  Plus the fact that the airlines will never hire someone who lies about such issues.

Talk to Dr. Chien, and give him ALL the facts.  He'll give you straight, reliable answers.


Ron is right, you need to speak with an attorney that specializes in FAA.  It is my understanding that an expungement does completely remove the offense and makes it as if it never happened.  That would suggest that you can answer the question as if it never happened.  But, I would verify that with more than just my personal attorney.  If you have signed up for Pilot Protection Services, you can get a free 30 minute consultation with an attorney.  This might be a good time for you to use that benefit.

1629 Posts

@Daniel Bissell

It is my understanding that an expungement does completely remove the offense and makes it as if it never happened. 

The rules on what expungement really means vary from state to state, and also under Federal law.  See below.  Sometimes it's legally accessible for governmental purposes, sometimes it's not.  Sometimes the public cannot see it but the government can.  Sometimes it can be accessed by court order.  And sometimes it's just out there in cyberspace where anyone can find it but no one can ever make it disappear completely.  If you assume the FAA will not find that “expunged” event, you are seriously risking a violation of 61.59, the penalty for which is revocation of all FAA certificates.  As Daniel said, get your legal advice from an attorney familiar with the FAA legal process.