Drug Use and a Department of Energy Security Clearance

Originally published at: https://www.clearancejobsblog.com/drug-use-and-a-department-of-energy-security-clearance/

As we all know, illegal drug use is one of the disqualifiers for being granted a security clearance, but it can be mitigated depending on several factors. Here is a tale of two drug users who applied for a security clearance with the Department of Energy. Case #1: This applicant was a recent college graduate…

Case #1 - denied
Case #2 - granted

1 Like

I would say denied for both. Both cases show intentionally withholding information at one point or another.

Case 1 - The applicant failed to reveal the information. Had he owned up to it in the interview process, the situation may well have been different (in my view). Recommend deny.

Case 2 - The applicant was above-board, with document results of a completed abuse program. Recommend grant.

The first is pretty clear cut . . . Omission isn’t the way to go and the mitigating factors that were attempted are not very convincing.

The second is a more difficult case. While I am almost certain that it was adjudicated in favor of the applicant, I have a problem with his admission and the mitigating factors. Saying, “I omitted my prior drug use because of my prior drug use” doesn’t hold water with me. That simply leads me to believe that he will do the same if he slips back into drug use. I don’t want him on my team.

We’ve all lied before at some point in our lives… The guy came clean, sought out rehabilitation and is obviously leading a better life than before. Perhaps more folks should understand that we as a species are not perfect in any aspect and have some leniency when judging others…

I too would say: denied applicant 1.

He sought out information he claims from a federal employee to deliberately deceive. However, he may get a break based on age and MJ being expected in that time frame. In the undisclosed period he was susceptible to blackmail. Obviously his references dimed him out without a problem.

Declined applicant 2: Candor is a hard one to defend. Putting it in writing where you deny its use…propensity to not follow the rules. At a minimum be required to sign an acknowledgement regarding candor and drug use, but I think it would be a no go on candor.

The outcome of the two cases:

Case #1- the clearance denial was upheld due to the subject’s lack of candor during the investigation process and not being forthcoming until after being confronted by an investigator,

Case #2- the judge opined the subject had mitigated the drug use and that the subject had voluntarily disclosed the information and was forthright and honest in admitting his mistakes; clearance granted,


Good stuff @Marko . I enjoyed this thread.

@marko… maybe I am not clear on the appeal process. Nonetheless, were they first-level judge decisions or “appellate” judge decisions?

Are those first-level judge decisions publicly available? If so, where can we find them?

Administrative judges - no courtroom involved… much like arbitration

Ahh… thank you… that probably explains why I am having trouble to find those cases… thanks

Great exercise! I will be interested to see how my employee situation turns out where a cleared person confessed to a one of use of MJ while cleared, in his upgrade package. It will be 12 months old, usually the minimum time in mitigating youthful experimentation, and he will require a poly for the TS. So he must come clean on that…but will be a learning experience.