Chances of getting my clearance accepted.

In July 2017, I filled out an e-Qip for secret clearance for an upcoming job after graduation. On January 13th 2018 i got a citation to show up to court on January 29th for a possession of marijuana charge. This being my first offense, the judge signed me up for a misdemeanor intervention program. After the program is completed the charges will be dismissed. I am currently in the process of being investigated but have not yet received an interview. I recently started smoking as a coping mechanism because the recent storms (Irma/Maria) destroyed my islands I was unable to contact my family for sometime. Being in college and also being unable to help my family, i was under a lot of stress. I plan to be completely honest with the investigator, if they bother calling me. With this information, what are the chances of my security clearance being accepted? I really just need a sign of hope or some good news at this point.

a marijuana charge during your background investigation is not good news… sorry.

This one will be VERY difficult to mitigate. You will need to report this fully. Start writing up the story now. Include the storms, your family, the stress, but understand that the these things happen AFTER college as well and the government doesn’t want to think that you will turn to grass when you are stressed at work or if there is another storm.

You have set yourself up against long odds, now you have to work to mitigate the problem. Get yourself into a counseling program. Even if you don’t think that you need it. I would also suggest that you not rely on this one job. Start looking elsewhere, at non-cleared positions so that you know you can start work after graduation.

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You probably will be denied. The investigator/adjudicator wants to see solutions on your drug habits. If you went through the intervention program and you stop doing drugs you would be fine. Since you decided to smoke again, things do not look favorably to you. Personally I think if you really want to get your clearance try joining the military.

Is that really necessary?


LOL me? This is the nice version!

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Thank you Ed. I really appreciate it. I’m highly inexperienced with clearance. Should i try to contact my investigator? If so, where would i be able to find who my investigator is? Or, should i just wait for the investigator to contact me.

Im honestly expecting the worst outcome. I’m already looking for other jobs but also willing to do everything in my power to keep this job.

You can’t contact your investigator. It just doesn’t work that way. I suspect that you should contact the FSO at the company that is sponsoring your clearance. But, I’m not really certain of the reporting requirements when you don’t have your clearance yet.

Write up a document about the entire issue. Don’t treat it like an English paper. Take it seriously. All of the facts with documentation attached. Have this ready for the investigator who will probably already know about it before you are contacted.

If you REALLY want this job, hire a lawyer who is experienced with clearance work. But, as noted earlier, you are fighting an uphill battle right now.

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Ed has given you good advice. If you can prove to an adjudicator that this criminal drug charge was a one time lapse in judgement and it is not indicative of your overall character you MIGHT squeak by. Hopefully @Marko chimes in as his advice would likely serve you best.

There are quite a few issues here that will be hard to overcome:

  • recent illegal drug use (it seems more than once based on your narrative)
  • criminal charge- when you say dismissed that does not mean anything to an adjudicator. If you entered into a plea agreement then basically you are guilty of the conduct
  • your reasons do not resound as being a hardship since thousands of others were in the same situation and probably did not turn to illegal drugs
    Things in your favor are your age and if you voluntarily complete a treatment program and avow to never illegally use drugs again. Even that might not be enough to overcome the issues.

I completely agree with Marko, although he has more tact. I am a Texan and my home city was damaged pretty bad. I did not resort to childish antics by resorting to drugs.