Lied about Drug Use

Hey all currently just graduated from college and been a lurker here.

So I omitted information about drug use on my SF-86 and to the BI for a TS/SCI w/ FS. Stupid I know, I was rushing finals, stressed over senior year, and was scared shitless about a one time LSD a year and half ago.

Didn’t know much about clearences and the actual seriousness of it until after I did more research and decided to just fess up to the polygrapher because:
1). I wouldn’t pass it
2). It’s for the best for future clearences and it’s just been in my head.

I’m assuming lying to both cases is pretty much a 100% denial? And would this pretty much disqualify me from ever getting another clearence? What about a public trust?

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I cant say for sure you would be denied, but lying is never a good look, but lying about drug use when applying for a national security clearance is bad. Why did you say you weren’t sure of the seriousness?

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Mainly because of school. Just been so wrapped up I just never bothered looking over any more addiational information on security clearences in general and almost sort of rushed the whole process.

Wasn’t until I finished that I started to really dig into security clearences and what they are.

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I hate to give firm yes or no answers but in this case it is probably a 99%+ No. However you should be able to apply again in the future, especially if you stay away from drugs (drugs are bad, m’kay?) and fill out the forms correctly next time.

Oh and just because it seems like a 99% certainty that you will not be cleared this time, don’t expect the process to move quickly :slightly_frowning_face:


What kind of drug use are we talking about? Did you split a couple bowls with a roommate over a two year period? Did you smoke only back HS because it “coo”? Have you been a hardcore smack user for the last five years?

See the differences? Come clean before the poly. You will not get through it if you stick to your story. Then, after, you will have to deal with the consequences.

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I don’t know what agency you’re getting cleared for but I know that for several, if you lie on your case papers and during your interview then try to fess up during your poly, it’s an automatic disqualification. They see it as you had two chances to fess up and did not.


I missed the fact that he lied to his investigator . . . that’s going to make things much worse but I still that the level of drug use sets up the possibility of mitigation.

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Other then the LSD, two Marijuana use 4 years ago in social settings during college, never bought or sold.

And yeah the fact that I lied is why I’m sure I’ll get denied, not sure if getting invited to another polygraph even after the admission is a good sign or not, but I guess I should just take this as a lesson learned and be glad I have a lot of time to reflect and learn from this for the future as a fresh graduate.

And I guess I do have another question, if I currently going (interviewing) for a job that requires a public trust would I not be allowed to be granted it?

I missed the LSD . . . This is the kind of thing that you are not expected to forget. Taking the process lightly and then researching after isn’t a good look either. I doubt that either of those would have been a deal breaker today but omitting them is a serious breach. However, being invited back for a second poly doesn’t, I think, mean much. They don’t usually discontinue in the middle of an investigation. They usually go to the end and an adjudicator will make the decision. That’s where the rubber hits the road.

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The thing that strikes me is your comment “I didn’t understand the seriousness of it.” Were you not applying for a government position??

Personally, I thought that the State would run a Public Trust investigation check. But it goes up to OPM.

Scroll halfway down the page to the Drug Use section. There’s still hope!!

Yes, your case is pretty much a 100% denial, and it will disqualify you from getting a security clearance with another federal agency. It will also adversely affect your likelihood of qualifying for any public trust position.

Of course one of the greatest mitigating factors of all is the passage of time. Once you do get denied (and my Magic Clearance Eight Ball shows “all signs point to No”) you can apply again in the future… should probably wait at least a year.

Posting the aftermath for any others who need help.

Received a letter that I was discontinued but to reapply after a year to that agency. Decided to apply to a different agency, only this time was truthful and explained why I omitted that information last time. Was granted the clearance and at the agency currently.

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Seeing this way too often with college students. May this serve as a reminder to them hopefully, to never downplay the severity, longevity, and duration of illegal or questionable activities. Crazy how many students spend hundreds of hours doing research throughout the year, yet become stagnant and oblivious when it comes to employment…especially with the federal government, hecck, even state at times too. I personally do not know how long it takes for a confession/disqualification like this to “clear”…but I would give it 1-2 years then chance again. And when filling out the SF-86 in the future, be sure to be honest and fully transparent about this mishap, how you were truly unaware, and a bit naïve…and now have better judgment.

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Good stuff. Glad that was a quick turn around for you to have an agency pick you up. Candor goes a long way

So you got a suitability denial instead of a clearance denial?