Invited to CIA interview and admitted to drug use

Last time I have used marijuana was 10 months ago. 2 months ago I applied for CIA internship positions, even though I knew that they required at least 12 months since last drug use to even apply. In the application I made it very clear that I have not used any drugs within the last 10 months. I had very low expectations that I would get a response.

A week went by and I was asked to take an aptitude and personality test. I was surprised to hear back. I took the test and then silence for 2 months. 2 days ago I get an email with an invitation to an interview. As happy as I may be to get this far into the application process, I am also confused and worried with what can come next. Does the recruitment center not take drug factor into consideration? Do they leave it up to the investigators to make a final decision? Would it be wise to decline going to the event if it can negatively impact future employment?

Thanks all!

Many of these places have two separate processing paths, one for determining qualifications for the job, and a different path for security processing. Maybe they are operating without knowledge of each other. It is also possible that they are OK with ten months since last use.

I’d go to the interview. Good experience. Maybe you can ask about the ten vs twelve months at that point.

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@slimydal, I was in the same exact situation as you were except the usage was a little more recent.

The truth is that there is no distinct ‘cutoff’ point for drug usage, rather they tend to evaluate that on a case by case basis.

The recruiting representatives may tell you to wait since your under 12 months, but they don’t have a say really on suitability or adjucation. As for my case, I submitted my sf86 after getting a COE, despite my circumstance being similar to yours and everything appears to be moving smoothly, BI started, took poly/medical, etc. The worst they can do is immediately deny you this time around and tell you to apply again next year. Might as well give it a shot now, I had no such problems.

When I was actually talking to my polygraph examiner post test she said the CIA has the ‘12 month rule’ to discourage habitual drug users rather than those who just experiment a few in college, especially interns.

Just be prepared to have full details on the incidents of drug usage, mitigating conditions, and being grilled on the poly for it. Be completely honest and DO NOT misrepresent such details or dates of use, that’s a fast track way of getting kicked out.

Well how about that!

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I keep saying that there are no “rules” . . . Especially when talking about the IC . . .

It seems obvious that an applicant who tried an edible a year ago has to be treated differently from somebody who smoked a bowl day for several years.

What if you didn’t mention drug use on your application? Can you still save yourself when you interview in person?

This is normally where they deny you for lack of candor. Just be upfront with them.

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I interviewed a guy who was applying for cia. He listed no drug use then admitted to cocaine, weed, and some other drug during the interview. The case was cancelled before the investigation was completed.


Here is my case. I already have the clearance from another agency and was honest about my pot use in college. During the online application I just didn’t list it by mistake. Should I even bother going to interview or do think they will accept it? Thanks.

You should definitely go to the job interview. You’ll have a chance to correct the record AFTER the job interview when you complete your SF86 (if you get a COE).

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Go to the job interview. If you cleared with the past use, you shouldn’t have any problem. You’re not applying for a new clearance, you won’t fill out another SF-86. The on-line application you filled out was an employment application.

Should you bring this up at your interview? Probably. Make sure that they understand that this was self-reported during the background investigation for your previous position.

He’s talking about CIA. They generally don’t accept other people’s clearances at all. He’ll most likely have to do another SF-86 and full investigation.

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This is the problem when people jump into an existing thread instead of starting their own . . . I was replying to CattyShack, not the OP.

This applies to me. Thank you all for responses. I feel stupid for not including it on the application. However, for my TS/SCI I admitted to EVERYTHING which was just minor drug use in college. I didn’t want to go to the interview if it wasn’t going to matter. If you think it’s okay then I’ll go lol

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@EdFarmerIII He’s talking on the CIA thread so it’s assumed that he’s talking about the CIA, which is what he just confirmed here. I made it clear to him that the CIA does things differently than what you said. No need to get upset.

So I might have a chance? Thanks for the help. It is appreciated.

Yes . . . I can’t comment on your chances but the drug use shouldn’t be an issue.

You will have 2 more chances to reveal this information before your poly.

CattyShack already has a TS/SCI and admitted everything at the time . . . The omission appears to have been on some sort of company application before her job interview.

I am not sure that there will be an investigation or poly involved here.

From another agency. When you apply with CIA you do everything over, regardless if you are cleared or not.

She still has to complete the in person interview.