Public Trust drug use timeframe

Just a very quick question. I’m looking at federal jobs on a talent management system and a lot of positions just list “public trust” in the background investigation/security clearance section. Does a public trust investigation always include the sf-85p-s? Or do some public trust investigations only require you to only fill out the sf-85p? I’m specifically asking because of the 1-year illegal drug use time frame vs. the 7-year. Thank you!

85P-S is for positions that require carrying a weapon.

Non-weapon is always 85P

Can anyone else confirm this? Based on what I was seeing before, tier 1 is a suitability determination and is just the sf-85, but tier 2 and 3 are public trust background investigations and require the sf-85p and sf-85p-s. Am I mistaken in this? So if you are applying for a federal job that is a tier 2, you would still need to fill out the 85p-s.

Public Trust - Tier 2 is SF85P with Tier 2 Moderate Risk Branching Form and Tier 4 is SF85P for non-weapon positions or SF85P-S if position requires carrying a weapon.
Clearance - Tier 3 is national security - SF86.
Your second set of questions have nothing to do with your original post. What exactly are you asking?

Yeah, get to the juicy stuff. What are you trying not to disclose?


Sorry if it was a bit vague. I don’t mean to not disclose anything, just trying to understand what I will have to disclose, as I plan on being 1000% honest with everything in my history. I’ll try to post an abridged history and what I’m concerned about:

*note: I plan on not starting the clearance process until I have a year between me and any usage, which will be June 11, 2020.

I’m 34 y/o
Looking at positions in non-law enforcement departments. Commerce/HHS/Labor/etc…

  1. Smoked weed around 6 times over the span of 3-4 days in June 2019.
  2. Did cocaine once socially in September 2018, also purchased at a dispensary in Colorado in September 2018 and smoked socially then.
  3. Smoked maybe 1-2 times a year through 2014-2018
  4. Did cocaine once in 2016 in Las Vegas socially.
  5. 2014: Did cocaine while travelling through South America on 4ish occasions including purchase on 2 occasions.

That is most likely what will fall in the purview of the investigation.

A couple other details:
Traveled to North Korea in 2016 before the travel ban was put into place. No continuing contact with the people I have met.
Didn’t fill taxes from 2010 to 2017 (living abroad make way below the thresh hold and received bad advice before I moved abroad that I didn’t need to file.) Did the Streamlined procedures to file back taxes and didn’t have to pay anything. Am now in good tax standing.

As you can see, I’m trying to decide if I should pursue opportunities now that are tier 1 investigations (i.e. sf-85 where drug usage is 1 year) and then wait until around 18-24 months to try to get a public trust position which includes the sf-85p-s or at least wouldn’t have to worry as much about it. Or if I can try to apply for a public trust now and hope that I am not denied a clearance or suitability.

This was the intent of my original post. Because of my advanced age and pattern of use, even if isolated and in social environments only, I don’t know if I would pass muster if I have to submit the more extensive drug history. However I think I would be fine with simply submitting the sf-85p devoid of the supplemental questions when there is a year between me and any use.

Thank you guys again for everything you do here. I’ve been a long time viewer of the board (I’ve been stressing about this since I was selected for a prestigious fellowship) and the insight here is incredibly helpful.

Ah and I forgot to mention that during my college years (2004-2008) I also experimented with various hallucinogenics, although I haven’t taken any since that time.

That is going to be a hill to climb with the recency of the drug use. All you can do is apply, be honest and let the chips fall where they may. If you are denied, you are no worse off (suitability) and can apply again in a year.

I appreciate the response. I think I’m going to try to stick to a tier 1 investigation and then if a rotational opportunity presents itself in the next year, i.e. two years+ without use, than I might feel more comfortable applying for a higher BI level. My ultimate goal is to get into the foreign service, which requires a TS clearance. How long do you think I should put between myself and the mentioned history to have a high chance of getting through the process (disclosing everything obviously)?

Three years minimum with no use. A TS will go back seven years drug use required to be listed on the form but you will be questioned about all prior drug use.

Thank you so much for the insight!

So I have accepted a tentative offer for a smaller government agency with a tier 1 investigation. I don’t know exactly how they are going to proceed at this point, but I’m trying to wait until June 9th to fill out my eQIP form, as that will give me a year between using marijuana during a wedding June 9th, 2019. However, there is a possibility they will want the sf-85 eQIP filled out in early May. I was wondering if disclosing that I used marijuana socially at a wedding (didn’t purchase) 11 months ago would kill my chances at a Tier 1 clearance or suitability. I know suitability-wise it is up to the agency, but if anyone has any opinions, it would be very helpful. Thank you!