Music Concerts and Festivals & Friends

Hi im currently an Electronics engineer at my department doing mix of software and hardware.

Anyways I have submitted my SF86 a while ago and just waiting on investigation. Ive admitted to everything in its entirety concerning drugs and alcohol. In short:

  • I had 1 original dui charge lowered to wet and reckless misdemeanor (California) from fall of 2016
  • petty theft as a minor (sealed but I disclosed it anyways) when I was 17 for stealing shorts (yes I said shorts).
  • Admitted to using Ecstacy and Marijuana <10 times 2011-2015.
  • Used adderall as an undergrad in 2012 or so.

These are the only concerning details from my background. WIth that said I have been sober from alcohol by choice. It will be 2 years this coming August. I have stopped the drugs since 2015.

Because I focused on my the past 2 years Im socially dormant. I dont have many friends other than best friends Ive had since almost high school. I dont want to filter out any more friends in my life as I hardly have any. Im currently in Los Angeles while they are in San Diego. I dont have any friends here in LA and with the nature of work Id rather not make new friends as it would undo where I am now socially. With california making marijuana legal I have 2 concerns…

  1. My friends doing drugs
  2. Me going to a music concert and people doing drugs

To clarify I do not do an drugs nor drink. I have never went to a Musical event since 2015 as I am too afraid this will negatively affect me. How does this affect me? Working full time, I almost never see my friends (even family) excluding social gatherings via family parties, church and the club (again never drinking).

Can someone please chime on this? Ive been evasive, avoiding people and many social gatherings for the past 3 years. At least in my mind, a security clearance is based upon me as well as the others I interact with, correct? Feel free to give me your honest opinion. I dont have the need to do any drugs or drink but basically working full time is exhaustive and I always shy away from social opportunities in so much fear for the sake of my clearance.

Perception is reality. Why would you hang out with others who are doing what you are desperately trying to avoid. If I were you I wouldn’t jeopardize my future for others or events, but that’s just me.

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Im glad you brought up the aspect of reality. Though as you stated it is your opinion and I need direct guidance of a solid yes or no. Either way allow me to provide more detail on my behalf.

Example: I broke up and avoid my ex of many years because she now smokes weed despite it being legal here. I made that conscious decision on my own and that was the only reason. Is it fair for that to occur if clearance only concerned me? I have read on here that “your spouse/SO/friend/children can smoke marijuana with your pressence just dont do it yourself”

Another Example: Im 23. Ive already planned to be sober for another 8 years. This is the extreme “perception” which Im wide aware of. I understand the reality but is this all not too extreme?

Do all federal workers go through this? Its quite depressing. Im stressed out with this more than my work itself. I put 30% in my TSP and do nothing but save save save, work work work. What is “Reality” if all I do is go home and just code? No friends nor no family here. I was quite social; however, thats reduced to nothing but an awkward individual who simply can no longer.

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You all are extremely paranoid…


Not necessarily paranoid. Several years ago, my chances of obtaining an IC TS/SCI clearance were definitively ruined merely by defamatory comments made by co-workers at a part-time student job at which I was working when my BI was underway.


The federal drug law continue to take precedence over the laws of the state in which you reside. This would especially be the case for a BI.


The age old answer of “it depends” raises its head. You are not responsible for the conduct of others, however…condoning use, stopped for a traffic infraction, random non legal substances found, nobody owns up. You are putting the clearance at risk. Are you willing to be scrutinized and adjudicated by a clearance folks? Mitigation for past drug use is disassociating oneself with former friends who use. How strong is your ability to resist? What if you are along for the ride, they stop off to purchase these items? You are required to report the arrest and subject yourself to scrutiny. Best to move on with your life and away from the users. Would their memory be hazy and they tell an investigator you proudly smoked with them? Maybe they think it was last year not 3 years ago? Can this affect you? Absolutely. A person is known by the company they keep.

I get the loneliness, nostalgia and downright missing old friends, and good times. You are on the cusp of “adulting.” Priorities change, goals move, desires change. Continue to love old friends from a distance, visit when you go home but other than meeting for dinner…I would refrain from bar hopping or events where drugs are prevalent such as any concert.

Up to roughly age 24 or 25 you get a wider window for past youthful indiscretion. But you are at the point where it significantly narrows. Post college time…you know better. I see no problems with the DUI, theft of shorts (mine was marigold seeds; true story) or the MJ. The roughly 10 Ecstasy events added to the MJ and the DUI…starts to paint a picture of broader drug use, a tendency to not follow rules etc. If you were to use even once now…the standards are higher, the length required of you to go drug free is longer. If you have been 100% honest, have no fear. Can you count on the drug addled memories of your friends to be accurate in their conversations to an investigator?


I appreciate the honesty. It is a bit over the top. My apologies.

That is frightening. I will say I am completely screwed as I will automatically be upgraded to a TS if the Secret ever comes through.

What is your lifestyle like? Did you ever obtain the TS?

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I concur and have no issues. We receive constant email reminders every quarter to not use marijuana despite it being state legal.

At the time of my BI, I had PERFECT credit and NO police record whatever. No, I was never able to find work with either the IC or the FBI.

No, as far as I can tell from reading my BI, the problem arose largely due to gratuitous defamatory information provided by “developed” informants at part-time, casual non-professional jobs which I had held while attending school…

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It is critically important to bear in mind that an applicant has ABSOLUTELY NO control over whom the investigators may “develop” as informants during a BI.

Such informants may choose to conceal their identity, and are not under oath, nor potentially subject to cross-examination, nor to criminal prosecution for making false statements to a federal agency.

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I appreciate leveling with me and providing the sanity check. I am willing to maintain my friendship from afar. I am unfortunately the eldest in the group and the rest are still enjoying college. I am in no position to be the judge of them; however, I have expressed my urges to have them quit and they have responded to be clean when they graduate. The standard “I only want to experience before I become an adult” card comes into play. Fair enough. To make it more simple, I got into grad school. So I will be kept busy. Hopefully they grow up by then.

I mostly fear cutting ties in the event it was never necessary. Though as you know I have no issues ridding the last of my friends if that is required of me, then so be it. I understand what I must do.

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An excellent point you have made. I can see where comments may be falsified with no accountability such as in your case. That is unfortunate that those individuals not under oath can hinder your chances.

Sounds like more fun for me. I was told by my manager I require a TS after this… it will definitely be rough.

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At times and in periods of our lives we form close associations due to the shared environment. Lose that shared environment and you quickly realize you have nothing in common. The few you remain in contact with, you have a deeper relationship with. College is a time where youthful experimentation takes place. In many ways, sexuality, drugs, crime, high risk thrill seeking, etc. Grad school tends to calm some down and then working a real 9 to 5 which is likely more like 0800 to 1900…quickly takes the steam out and leaves very little time for that stuff and those people. The ones stuck in that rut look for others to do the same old stuff with. Best mitigation is separating oneself from that crowd. You may be required to sign an acknowledgment letter so you get a written warning that the lifestyle is not acceptable. But you gain an excuse to tell friends you no longer use because you have a lot on the line. You may still want to party…but the risks are now far greater. Make the wise decision.

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I agree. I should be cautious as it is with my own decisions that will be held to subectivity alone. This will ultimately dictate my clearance.

I’ll continue to mitigate these concerns. I can only hope my 3 younger friends will grow up in time. Until then I’ll keep my distance from questionable/ risky activities. Thank you for your input!

This is work for the Federal government. This is not a light commitment. This is not just a change of jobs but a change of lifestyle and attitude. You have to consider what is more important, your friends or your future. Your friends clearly dont care that much If they dont understand. That is my two cents.

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