Question about putting down prior drug usage on SF86

I have a question about putting down some past drug usage on the SF86.

My history roughly looks like to the best of my memory (all marijuana)

2007- Fall 2009 usage 3-4 times

Fall 2009 - Spring 2010 1-2 times a month (purchased myself during this time)

Spring 2010 - Fall 2011 None

Fall 2011- Fall 2013 1 time a month (never purchased)

Fall 2013- Fall 2015 None

Fall 2015 - Spring 2016 2-3 times in total (never purchased)

June 2016 - Present no usage

Other drug stuff

About 10 years ago I took an Adderall to study for an exam

About 9 years ago I helped grow a marijuana plant

My questions are:

  1. Should I bother putting down the Adderall and Marijuana plant? These fall outside of the 7 years asked on the SF86, so I don’t think I’m required to. On the other hand I don’t want to look like I’m hiding anything if these come up with my references.

  2. I don’t really remember exact dates and usage, everything above is a bit of an estimate. I’m really overestimating in an abundance of caution. I’m very confident that the last time I used was around June of 2016, but everything else I’m a bit unsure about. Is there any information I should try and obtain which would be important for the background investigator? Also any recommendations for how to fill this out on the SF86 and what I should try and include in the comments section about this?

I of course understand the most important thing to do here is to be truthful about my past usage. I’m just nervous by not having exact information it will look like I am trying to hide something.

Answer the questions literally. Seven years is seven years… ever is since you were born.

Most folks don’t remember exact dates for multiple events unless they were tied to memorable events (holidays, birthdays, etc). “Approximately” is acceptable.

I’m no investigator or adjudicater so my opinion is not worth any more than yours or the next guy to comment. I would put any usage that falls directly under that question.

The question says 7 years. They could have just as easily made it 10 years, but they chose 7. I would put anything that answers the question. If you really want, during the interview, you could clarify that they are truly only interested in the previous 7 years of drug use.

If that prompts the investigator for more info, I’d be honest with him. Let him know you answered the question correctly.

Once again . . . Answer the questions that are asked. They aren’t trick questions or questions designed to trip you into admitting something.


Ok let me be more clear why I’m confused. Section 23.1 asks

“In the last seven (7) years, have you illegally used any drugs or controlled substances? Use of a drug or
controlled substance includes injecting, snorting, inhaling, swallowing, experimenting with or otherwise consuming any drug or controlled substance.”

So this is straight forward to me and I will check THC in the entry 1 block. It then asks

“Provide an estimate of the month and year of first use.”

This is where I’m confused. Is this the month and year of first use ever or in the 7 year window? If it is the first use ever for the next question

“Provide nature of use, frequency, and number of times used.”

Should I then go from all the way back or just the last 7 years?

The first is the first time you ever used marijuana. The expansion questions are confusing at times. The expansion questions try to gather the information the adjudicator needs (i.e. make my job easier). Unfortunately, the lack of instructions often leads to partial, if any, information being reported.

The nature, frequency . and number can be generalized. Then list in the comments section the information you listed above.

I agree, that could be interpreted in two ways. I think the fact, however, that they asked about the last 7 years is where your history should begin.

In other words, every question after the 7 years question should pertain to the previous 7 years only.

During your Subject interview, you will be asked to provide the date, or if not known, approximate date you first started using marijuana (or other drug). If you listed only a date in the last seven years but respond with an older date - you will be asked why you did not list the correct start date.

The seven/ten year questions are “trigger” questions. You will want to report the actual history if asked by the form.

A learning opportunity. You are required to report the entire action if the original action started outside the reportable period but any part of the action or consequence falls into the reportable period.

Drugs/alcohol/legal actions/associations are the areas where Subjects don’t answer the follow up questions correctly - and get indentified with at least a minor honesty (Person Conduct) issue.

Thank you for clearing this up. It is clear to me now that everything related to using THC should be listed, but the marijuana plant/adderall issues would not fall in the scope of the expansion question for having used THC in the past 7 years.

Like others have said, you answer the questions exactly as the instruction(s) say to do so.
Ultimately, you should neither under-report nor over-report for each answer. Either will invite unnecessary work on both sides of the process and slow you down to a possible job.