Updated:OLYMPIA, Wash. —
The Washington State Patrol has found a surprising trend that potential troopers are being disqualified from consideration because of drug use -- but not the kinds of drugs one might expect.
The state patrol is currently in a hiring phase to replace a few hundred workers set to retire in the next few years.
But according to KIRO 7 Eyewitness News partner the News Tribune, a surprising number of applicants have admitted taking prescription drugs that weren't prescribed to them. Doing so is a felony and disqualifies applicants.
The state patrol processed 1,868 applications as of late September and rejected 74, or four percent, for failing to meet drug standards.
The rejected applicants were candidates who were otherwise qualified to apply to be a trooper.
According to the WSP, most applicants are taking prescription drugs for legitimate injuries and may have taken a pill from a friend or family member without realizing that doing so against the law.
Regardless of the trend, the state patrol said it has plenty of qualified candidates, but police want people to know it's illegal to take someone else's drugs.