Contractor Overcomes Drug Use and Lack of Candor to Keep Clearance

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Many on this forum ask how long is long enough after the last use of illegal drugs. There is no set timeline for adjudicators to use. It depends on several factors: circumstances; age; type; recency; and probability of reoccurrence. A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case involved illegal drug use in college…

she must have been very good looking. This judge may have been swayed by this.

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Hi Marko,

Is there a case reference/number that we can access to read in full.

Hyperlink appears to not be working, go here:

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WoW! That is an incredible decision and situation that many people on this forum have one time or another found themselves in. Here is my question going forward because the judge ruled in such manner does this apply to all cases regarding drug use or personal conduct issues?

No, this is a case by case basis.


It does seem absurd a sprinkle of MJ use can result in denial…but clearly as shown here even using after cleared…with right judge…can be overcome.

Hence why best answer, aggravating as it is…“it depends”. Human factor judging, agency differences…the times…need for a skill set…empathetic or hard line judge…

How can there be such discrepancies in the way security clearance decisions are made? I was denied suitability for MJ and psychedelics usage in college, ten years in the past. I can understand applicants being held to high standards, but the fact that there is such a wide range of decisions about seemingly much more egregious behavior just seems…well, wrong?

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Were you denied a clearance? Did you receive an SOR?

Nope, suitability, but was given the chance to receive extra information about the decision.

The organization that you applied to could have very picky standards when it comes to suitability. This person was denied their clearance and was able to receive a favorable adjudication by appealing through DOHA. I dont think you get that option. It is really two different things.

Absolutely, but the end result it still one person gets a clearance while the other doesn’t, despite the first being arguably much worse.

You have the opportunity to apply at other organizations as well. Some dont require a FSP. One thing is that if it happened so long ago maybe there was something else? If you have the option to reapply in 1 year, do it again.