Received SOR for Drug Use and Criminal Conduct

Is there any weight to letters from my supervisors needing me to retain a clearance for a large amount of upcoming work that is classified and its importance to the national interest?

Yes, I went back and thought through and it was 6 instances of use over 10 yrs. I did not realize that it would matter if legal in the state I was in, as indicated by my intent to use if legal in my State. That has certainly changed my thoughts on it.

I’ll be hiring an attorney in hopes my exemplary record, the fact I was forthright w the information and performance along w active involvement in the community at my base can help mitigate my instances of poor judgement. I’ve also moved since the interview and no longer associate w any users.

Thank you all for you honest input.

[quote=“Tony1, post:1, topic:8630”]
I will sign a statement of intent never to use again,
[/quote]I also stated I would intend to use it again if it became legal in my State.


Yes I know, but that thought has changed.

After talking to my SMO I feel much better today. I was combing through that list of decisions the other night pretty panicked. Going through it now, much more calmly, so many of the denied ones are people who lied or had other factors like not responding to the SOR or being combative. A surprising one was someone who’d used while holding a clearance and then lied about it but still was granted access.

The problem I see is you admitted you would do it again if legalized in your state. I live in a state where it is legal. I still cannot use because it is still against federal law.

My story is on this site someplace. I ultimately lost my clearance and had the choice of either resigning or being removed from the agency I was employed with. Lawyers and appealing didn’t help me one bit. I did reenter the Federal Government as I am very persistent and tenacious. It is a non-clearance position which and many grade levels lower then I had when I was escorted out of the building that fateful day, but I am back in. My re-entry back into the Federal Government was less then two years from the date I was suspended and nine months from the date I ultimately resigned.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. In talking to my supervisor we’ll most likely get me a job through a contractor on our base in a position that doesn’t require a clearance until I can get a clearance should mine be revoked. In looking through your situation I think the omission of information was a greater ding than the marijuana use. That said, even though I was candid I did still use marijuana with a clearance which is very difficult to overcome. I will do everything I can and hope that reference letters from various supervisors will help inform the adjudicator that my ongoing classified work and specialized skills are in the national interest and that my contributions outweigh my transgressions. That said there’s no way to know till it’s all done.

Why would you think it was okay to use? You know it is illegal and the DoD is pretty clear that as long as it remains illegal it will in most cases prevent you from obtaining a security clearance. The fact that you already had a clearance and knowingly broke the law is just about as unfavorable you are going to get if I were an adjudicator.

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I agree with everything you’re saying except that I knew. I genuinely was oblivious and that when in a state that it’s legal that it was ok. I know that’s not an excuse but just the facts, I take responsibility for what I did and I’m not pleased that I self reported all this information. I’ve taken the steps to mitigate that are spelled out and trying to prepare the best response possible. Cases can go either way, it depends on the adjudicator. I definitely agree I have an uphill battle but I can’t not fight it, especially when I thought it was ok. I’ve got 11 years with the government and would be heartbroken to have to stop

Was this smoked or ingested some other way?

Please do not fret. In my experience on this blog there are more people who judge you and try to use information against you rather than actually offer help and resources.
Though I suspect based upon the information you have provided your clearance will be revoked, I would encourage you to appeal.

  1. Hire a Clearance Lawyer (Bigley & Ranish suggested) - provide all favorable performance appraisals, volunteer/community service activities, awards/certificates, as many character references from varying individuals as possible
  2. Complete a security clearance medical evaluation (Kimberley Berlin recommended) - do not overstate your use and make clear your current understanding of federal laws, your intent to never use again, and the importance of your employment and duty to civil service. Include the favorable resulting report in your appeal.
  3. Resolve any impending state charges. It’s is important to not be convicted, not receive any probation time, and expunge their record as soon as possible. You may need a civil lawyer to assist here. They may be able to use your resume and contributions to the community to make a deal with the states attorney.
  4. If would recommend waiting a period of 6 months after submitting the appeal to write your federal senator to send an inquiry on your behalf to the agency of board hearing your appeal. Restate your regret, period of abstaining (should be since March 2019 according to your own information), and desire to return to your position in better character.
    Best of luck to you!
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Thank you Kip. I agree I’ve noticed this blog seems to have more people hell bent on people being denied than trying to help, others a bit more friendly.

I’ve already gone through those first two steps. Are you recommending me have the 2005 charge expunged?

Yes, always attempt to have all charges expunged and do all you can to avoid probation in any case.

Clearance renewed. Just got the email from my security officer.



Wow. I remember reading this story when you first posted. That’s great news, happy to hear that! Would you mind breaking out your timeline (e.g. E-Qip submitted date, SOR received date, etc)? And you said you hired an attorney? Who did you go with if you don’t mind me asking?

eQIP Dec 2018
Interview March 2019 (last use the weekend before this interview because I’m an idiot and didn’t think legal state use was an issue, WRONG)
SOR recieved Sept 2019
Response sent Dec 2019

Got the email today. I used Bigley Ranish and was evaluated by Kimberly Berlin. I’d already hired them before @kip advised but that person is spot on.

Im hoping you don’t even get a SOR but I knew my story would give you hope. Saw that your post had been locked, so glad you saw this.

The update hasn’t shown in my career portal yet but I’m assuming my security officers check of JPAS is the gospel for this stuff. I’ve got to meet with her soon as she’s anticipating a warning letter. I also offered to be drug tested so I’ll see if I’m enrolled in that as well, which will be easy because I am not messing around.

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Not sure why we even bother with background investigations.


Much appreciated! Sounds like Christmas came early to you. I’ve already spoken with Bigley and Ranish, but I’ll speak with Kimberly Berlin as well.

If your career portal is anything like ours, I would assume it’ll take a while to update lol. When you say warning letter, do you mean from your command?

I think it’s to provide information to trained adjudicators so they can make a decision that they believe is consistent with national security interests based on the whole person concept.

I’d assume Tony has an otherwise exemplary record or specialized skillset that played into getting past the fact he used with a clearance.