Company Warned ANY Drug Use will likely Disqualify

The company that I work for has recently decided to put me in for a security clearance. Before doing so, they gave me a form of questions that they warned me if I answered yes to, it would be unlikely that I would receive a clearance. They didn’t want to know my answers, for the sake of my privacy, they just wanted to know if I was confident that I could obtain a clearance. One of the questions was about prior drug use and said that any would likely result in me not getting a clearance. Based on what I have read though, I do not believe that this is true.

When I was 18, I smoked marijuana 4 or 5 times. I am now 22 and I have not used it since then, nor do I have any intention of doing so in the future.

I intend to be completely honest on my SF-86, but I’m wondering if what they’re saying has any truth to it or if they’re just trying to weed out individuals who are unlikely to be cleared, which is what I believe. Is this the case?

Some more background information - the position is for a defense contractor and the clearance level is TS. There is no polygraph required either.


If what you described is the only instance of drug use then it can definitely be mitigated by your age at the time, the experimental nature of use, and time elapsed since last use. Add in your vow to never use again and your chances are good. Some agencies like the DEA have a zero tolerance policy, but generally most agencies will follow the above guidelines.