"Inactive" Secret Clearance and THC/Marijuana Usage

Hello everyone!

I’ve seen this topic discussed a couple times in several threads from years back and was hoping to get opinions on this in '24.

To give some background context, I worked a position on the contracting side for a little over a year, up until early '21. During my time here, I was granted a secret clearance. Upon leaving this position for a job in the private sector, I thought at the time that I wouldn’t be returning to cleared positions ever again until recently this year.

During my time between leaving the cleared position until now (2021 - 2024), I have consumed THC products in several instances but there are factors I wanted to mention:

  • Consumption of product(s) did not start until around '22, which is after my departure from the clearance job. Basically, I did not use any products while “actively” working with the clearance. To give perspective, had I planned to be returning to a cleared position then I would have not consume product(s).
  • Before I had received the secret clearance, I had zero instances of drug use. This was still the case up until my time at the private sector position.
  • All of these instances were THC products (either vapes or gummies [Delta-8 if that matters]). Nothing outside of that.
  • Instances of consumption were quite rare and mainly occurred around vacation periods while away from work (not frequent). If we’re looking at a yearly rate, maybe 1-3 times through a year from '22 to now.
  • Instances of consumption were all done in states that have laws to allow purchase and consumption on the [STATE] level. I think this was worth mentioning as products were purchased in physical stores and not once off the street or in a state that all-out prohibits it.
  • Use of product(s) is not habitual.
  • Last usage was early December of last year.

Other than that, my record is quite squeaky clean. No traffic infractions or speeding tickets, no debts, no blackmail worthy elements, no arrests, responsible with alcohol, haven’t visited other countries in two decades, I buy my textbooks, etc. Just mainly this area.

I would also like to state that since considering going back for a position on the contracting side, I do not have any intentions of consuming in these type of products anymore and will be upfront and honest about all instances and usage if asked as I believe honesty is the best policy.

Based on the above, would it make sense to attempt to try to get a clearance again? I’m also hoping this thread can give folks like me or lurkers from the public insight on this specific situation.

Thank you everyone!

Hello everyone!

Just updating this thread with some additional information I just came across and collected. Since delta-8 was used during the 2 year period of clearance being eligible after me leaving my cleared position, would that even need to be reported when I try to get a clearance again? I would still love to disclose for full transparency but I’m not sure if delta-8 usage would have impact due to the 2018 Farm Bill act.

This does raise another question, in the event that non delta-8 THC products were consumed in the last year (when clearance has already expired), would that be treated as severely due to having a clearance in the past? Or would it be treated as if I never had a clearance before (completely fresh).

Thanks again everyone for your help!

If you were not in a job requiring the clearance, then I don’t think it was active, and you did not have access to classified information.

I don’t know if that is splitting hairs and if it is enough to justify reporting any of this. Read the questions carefully. I am not sure how it works now but it would seem that six months would be the minimum you would want to be away from any such use, but who knows.

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Report it, and you “should” be fine. It is when it becomes a habitual habit that it is an issue. I have also heard the 5- and 7-year rule, being the time last used. Also, CBD is still considered cannabis usages in regard to a background. I do not understand why, but just telling you a firsthand experience.

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