NSA and prior drug use

How does the NSA view prior drug use as compared to other agencies? Specifically less than 20 uses of marijuana and minimal cocaine use. Does time really mitigate such things (i.e 1-4 years abstinence)

What about other DOD affiliates?

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One year would be the minimum. Four years would be better.

I think they also consider your age and situation… 20 year old in college is one thing, 30 year old is another.

I think the degree of use you describe, if it occurred over a year ago and you were young and foolish (or at least young) would not be an automatic show-stopper.


What about usage 20 yrs ago (in college) with reporting of one purchase (a dime bag?) Nothing since.

How long have you been waiting to hear anything… about ANYTHING?

If that’s your entire history of illicit drug use, it should not be a problem.

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Agree, seems like time is a HUGE mitigator here, and things like marijuana, mushrooms, and the like, may be a big fat whatever compared to harder drugs. But again - key issue is the passage of time here.

Well… not necessarily… Some agencies literally take hard stance on any illegal drug use. Secret Services used to, but the agency changed their policy on that last year or so. Point being, it depends on agencies regardless.

In my opinon, DoD agencies tend to have more leeway than DOJ agencies or possibly DHS agencies.

That seems unnecessarily harsh. Cant imagine that’s the case, and conflicts with their advocacy for honesty from their candidates.

You have it backwards . . . It’s not that they “advocate” for honesty from their candidates. They require it. It doesn’t matter in the least if it’s harsh. That really has nothing to do with it at all.

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@DaVinch, this is why candidates need to think twice before applying… This isn’t any different than IRS requires candidates and employees to be current with their taxes. If you owe taxes, you can forget about working there.

Right, but we’re talking about Coffee’s concerns regarding drug use 20 yrs ago back in college, with nothing since apparently. That shouldnt be an issue.

Why shouldn’t it be an issue?

Because it doesn’t comport with the whole-person review per the adjudicative desk reference, and it would not stand up in appellate litigation, assuming no other significant issues.

Coffee doesn’t say where he is applying or for what level of clearance. As has been noted many times, the CIA, Border Patrol and other agencies take a different view of drug use than DoD for example.

Yes . . . One purchase, 20 years ago CAN be a disqualification.

I also passed my poly on the first try, been very forthcoming. Hoping for the best, as I’m sure everyone else here is doing the same.

How long have you in the process and what level of clearance is it? Just curious.

It’s ebb and flow. I can recall in days past that you would only be disqualified with two or more felonies (2006!) while at other times smoking pot at 13 was a disqualifier. It all depends on how bad they need people and to what they will allow wavers.