Drug use while possessing a security clearance (after discharge)


#1

I know SF86 asks about drug use while possessing a security clearance. In the military they give everyone secret clearances. After discharge, however, some younger people experiment with very minor drug use. Does this act fall under that category? They of course dont use it while actively serving with clearance, but upon discharge I think the clearance is “still there”. I dont want to over analyze this question, so looking for some input.


#2

Once you’re discharged your clearance is no longer active.


#3

You only have a clearance while in a position in which that clearance is needed…If you are not in the military, you no longer have that clearance. It could be an issue if you are in the national guard or reserves and, thus still have an active clearance. Your bigger concern should be the recency of the drug use as many agencie look for at minimum one year (many two years) of a drug-free lifestyle.


#4

That clearance is no longer in access…however your behavior is a backwards looking recording device. 7 and 10 year “look backs” from when you apply for a new clearance would speak to this time period and the recreational use. It does differentiate on drug use while cleared and in public trust, officer of the court, but you certainly do NOT get a pass to use drugs recreationally when not actively possessing a clearance. I have this issue come up time and again. Clean cut kid, joins military, never smokes. Kind of regrets being so straightlaced, gets out, smokes. Realizes it isn’t all that wonderful, decides to return to straight and federally legal and discloses recent drug use. Denied. You get a wide window for youthful experimentation. Anywhere from about 6th grade to 2 years past normal College age you can write it off as “I was young, dumb and stupid.” However as you approach 24, 25 you should be aware of the law and are held to a higher standard. If you are post military, you very much are aware drugs are not legal. I see our Clearance adjudication folks wanting longer periods of time with no drug use to prove you can live with the rules and not use. If you are using, normally with others, you are potentially easier to compromise with blackmail. As in “if you don’t tell me classified info I will report your dope smoking.” Suddenly your local dealer isn’t too friendly. Anyone who can hold influence over your head can then make your life miserable.
If you slipped and tried it, stop. Get at least 24 months between you and the last use before trying to get cleared. At times they may want 3 years of no use and you risk a denial, which prevents you from reapplying for a year, and makes the denial reportable forever.


#5

Thanks guys, this input is helpful.