Obtaining Secret Clearance with Prior Drug-Use

Hey everyone,

I have not found anything regarding a similar situation to mine yet so I will try to explain as quickly as possible because it’s been keeping me up at night :sweat_smile:
So I just graduated college and this is my first ever full time job offer, which means it’s my first time ever needing to obtain a secret clearance. I am in a legal state for marijuana and I have done it frequently (not an everyday thing) but I mostly smoked in typical college social settings and then decided to get my own device late 2021 because I had a huge issue with insomnia and it helped me fall asleep. I did take a break for several months in the beginning of 2022 and then smoked a little here and there from end of May until my last ever use in October in social settings only. I never was the type to smoke everyday/never dependent on it.

I am not too worried about that, but I am worried about the 1-2x that I have experimented with other drugs as a result of peer pressure (from the same group of peers that I no longer have contact with since they were my social group and we all graduated and are living elsewhere). It has been a minimum 1 year+ since I have tried those other drugs, and after those 1-2x, I knew it was something I did not want to do ever again. So basically, I never had a dependency on any sort of drug, it was purely for experimental purposes. The only drug I used more frequently was marijuana and it’s been almost 2 months since last use, and I have abstained for 4-5 months before in between uses, so there’s no dependency there either.

I have no plans to lie on the SF86 form but I just want to know if my chances are completely shot at getting a clearance. I have no other “red flags”. I have a clean criminal record, clean behavioral/academic/financial record etc. The only wrong thing in my past is drug use which again, I have experimented with some things 1-2x which has only occurred while I was in college. Nothing in high school and nothing postgrad. I do regret experimenting because I don’t believe it was worth it. I have even told many people that haven’t tried the said drugs that it isn’t worth it. Are my chances blown? I am more than willing to get randomly drug tested.

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long read

Hard to say but I don’t think it is automatic disqualifier… probably won’t get cleared quickly, that’s for sure. I can’t find the reference but some places are down to 90 days minimum since last use if it was not chronic. I think just graduating college may be a mitigating factor as well.

Maybe see if you can find something else in the meantime, this could take a while.