Invited to CIA interview and admitted to drug use

She doesn’t say that she is applying to the CIA. As I noted earlier, this is the problem when people jump into an existing thread with new questions instead of posting a new thread. The OP is applying to the CIA and has never had a clearance… My response was directed at a different user who did not say where she was applying but who already has a TS/SCI.

I am also not a female…lol

1 Like

I would just go if I were you. It’s not a waste of time if there is a chance.

My apologies . . . I keep reading “Catty” as “Cathy” . . . Don’t take it personally.

@slimydal @James1219

Bumping an old thread with a similar question. Did the CIA internship recruiters ask you about drug use during the employment interview before the COE? Were you entirely honest with them during the interview?

Even with drug use within a year (but still a few months ago) I have reason to believe that I would be granted TS during the current climate surrounding MJ legalization as long as I am entirely open and honest. However, I am afraid that if I was entirely honest during the employment interview it would affect my chances of being granted a COE.

Part of the problem is that the Agency recruiters have NOTHING to do with the BI process, so they can pretty much promise anything. In my case, all it took for an application to be derailed was some derogatory comments made by employees at a casual menial, part-time job I had while I was in school.

At the CIA, those decisions would be made by the Office of Security. They are wholly separate from the recruiters, so NEVER take anything that the Agency recruiters might tell you at face value.

This is 100% false. You will not.


I believe the poster may be confusing “would” with “should”


You should have least a year-two years of no use. As long as marijuana is federally illegal, it is still illegal in their eyes (doesn’t matter if you live in a state where it is legal). Be honest and upfront- do not try to hide information. If you are extended a COE to any position (FTE, contractor, internship), you will go through a background investigation which includes a polygraph. Do not omit or “forget” to put down past usage. If you’re thinking about not being 100% honest, I think it’s best to find an internship outside the IC/cleared space.


Can you elucidate your “reason to believe” that the current climate regarding marijuana legalization will mitigate your recent drug use?


You must not be very serious about this career field if you feel taking drugs isn’t a big deal and you think you’re still deserving of a position.


@Nate123 With all due respect, I think you may want to rethink your term “deserving”, and “taking drugs”. Do you take ibuprofen when you’re sore? Drink coffee in the morning? Have some drinks on a weekend?

I’m at an Ivy graduate program in a legal state who had no intention of federal work until roughly eight months ago. Interesting that using a legally-purchased substance (I even paid taxes, dammit!) on a few occasions can entirely exclude you from a security clearance. Discerning between state and federal law isn’t exactly straightforward for those outside of the cleared space.

Maybe I’ve spoken with a bit too much surety. What I meant to say was that I no longer believe I would be certainly denied. Other forums with cleared individuals have said that the issue is not as black and white as it has been previously, especially now that ~14 states (with some of the most prestigious universities) have recreation marijuana, and that the country appears to be rapidly moving towards federal de-scheduling or out outright legalization. The government clears honest people, not perfect people.

What does being at an Ivy have to do with violating federal law? There are no drug use waivers available because you attend an Ivy.

The whole “the government clears honest people, not perfect people” may be true, but your honesty then triggers your being deemed unsuitable. Suitability is different than a clearance denial, but the outcome is the same - you don’t work there. Admissions knock people out of contention all the time. Expecting CIA is going to give you a pass because of the climate on MJ usage and attending an Ivy is wrong. As others have suggested, waiting until you are beyond the 12 month mark is a better course of action because you can be completely honest, and it won’t be in violation of the policy. What’s a few months?


It can and it will. The problem here is if you decided to go through with the process now you can be denied a clearance. This will follow you every time you apply. There are pretty explicit instructions on the applicant site and when you begin the process on the amount of time needed in order to avoid this.



contradicts this

It’s not complex, as others have mentioned. You might as well look elsewhere, since you don’t see your usage as an issue and therefore will most likely lie about it.


Drug use is a factor and the use and your attitudes towards Federal drug laws will be taken into consideration during adjudication. It is not something that should be taken lightly.


I would also point out that aptitude/qualifications for positions play second fiddle to the results of the BI. Anything that the recruiters may tell you is of no value whatever, and is certainly not binding.