No interviewees for mushroom history on Secret clearance

So I was accepted for an immigration services officer position at USCIS back in March, and was given an E-QIP to finish in late May. The interviews are done and its off to adjudications but I have a few problems.

I took psilocybin mushrooms back in 2015 on one occasion. I swore to never do it again noting the many reasons why I feel it inappropriate for Americans to do it, let alone someone who works for the federal government. They asked who I did it with and I told them their full names, but was unable to find someone for them to interview that could confirm this use of mushrooms (I provided two people who are aware of the time I did it but put “I don’t know” on the form the investigator gave them).

There was another case of marijuana use in October of 2017, who I was able to find someone to confirm the use of and who I did it with.

I have attended a couple international organizations in Taiwan, worked for a couple of Taiwanese academic journals, have quite a few foreign contacts from this time abroad and even had a mix-up with immigration at the Taiwanese border, but none of these things seemed to be an issue in regards to getting people interviewed to confirm it (or it did not concern the investigator).

What are my chances of getting a Secret clearance considering my failure to provide someone who can confirm this single case of mushroom use? I really don’t have anyone else they could interview. Even if I do get it, how long will this process honestly take? What should I do to mitigate the chances of USCIS dropping me in the meantime? I’ve already had one security clearance with the State Department literally just never come to fruition for an internship I was supposed to do in college, so I’m stressed out about what seems to be ineffectual clearance processes.

It would seem the foreign employment and Taiwanese contacts would have raised an eyebrow. I can’t speak for the investigator as to why he/she did not gather more details about foreign involvement. Drug use can usually be mitigated with time. I’m not an adjudicator, so I don’t know how much time is needed. Without knowing what paperwork you filled out, it is difficult to say how much a part your foreign contacts and employment played in the investigation.

It shouldn’t have. They’re all just people from school studying abroad, and I made maybe $100 working freelance for a couple law journals. Nothing compromising my American allegiance. I filled out an E-QIP, what do you mean what paperwork?

There is really nothing you can do but be honest on the SF-86 and wait.

Your question is a ‘crystal ball’ question and no one can really answer it. Your drug use is recent and may be too big a hill to climb. It may be a case of putting more time between your use and reapplying in a year.

I was referring to an SF86(national security questionnaire) or SF85P (Public Trust). Foreign involvement can be an issue. Look at post on this site or google foreign involvement/influence and security clearance. Maybe more information can be given by an adjudicator on this site.

I filled out the SF-86. I talked to a clearance lawyer about my “foreign involvement” and she didn’t seem to find it cause for concern. If I’m rejected over it I will certainly appeal!

Sorry with everything I wrote my question probably wasn’t clear. Do you think the fact I was not able to find someone to interview regarding the mushroom use to have a negative impact on my chances? I know its pretty much a toss whether I’ll get the clearance or not.

I didn’t mean to insinuate that foreign involvement was grounds for rejection. It was just curious that the investigator did not get more details on foreign involvement. That’s just normal protocol. Sorry if I caused any alarm.

No worries. Strangely enough when I went through a past clearance process with State, they hadn’t interviewed any of my contacts but one, who told me they really only asked questions to confirm she knew me. That clearance never finished and I’ve been stonewalled with FOIA attempts.

I’m not sure that I understand the concern about finding some who could verify that you actually did mushrooms . . . Your admission should take care of that. What you need are people who would say, “He would never do that any more . . .”

That makes sense to me. They seemed really concerned about finding someone that could verify the event so I wanted to ask. I think the person they contacted about my more recent use of marijuana took care of the question of whether I’d use narcotics again. Thanks!

UPDATE! I have received a letter from the adjudication section of my employer, saying that the drug use will not have a negative impact on my adjudication for the security clearance. However, rumor has it that Homeland Security has a hiring freeze in two weeks and they’re already rescinding offers. So I hope that they just finish the clearance asap or let me have an interim now.

Congrats, good luck.

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