Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Hi everyone,

I have a concern for which I’m asking for a little reassurance on. I’m pretty sure I’m overthinking this, but given that I’m in the midst of an application to one of the three-lettered federal agencies, I’ve been hyper aware of my actions, surroundings, and the people I associate with.

I’m clean as a whistle in regards to anything drug related. However, since marijuana has become decriminalized (at the city/state level) in the city that I live in, it’s been everywhere. I’ve smelled it in the streets, apartment buildings, subway stations…literally everywhere. But the other night, I was on the train home from my girlfriend’s apartment, and a woman came onto the train with a lit marijuana cigarette and sat right near me. The surrounding area reeked of the smell. Needless to say, I moved away from her.

But the whole incident got me thinking - something like this can’t possibly cause me to “fail” a background investigation or a polygraph, right? I’m concerned that if I were to explain this to any BI or poly examiner (not that I’m itching to or anything), no one would believe me, thus causing my application to be terminated.

I know this probably sounds silly and is most likely just a case of paranoia, but a little reassurance would really put my mind at ease. Unless of course this is a cause for concern…

Anyway, appreciate any thoughts/comments. Thank you!

If this is your only problem, consider yourself good to go. You didn’t smoke any drugs and can’t be faulted for people’s actions around you. To my understanding secondhand exposure doesn’t count and I’m not even sure of where you would report it. Stay clean.

Nanograms per deciliter is the norm for urine testing. You are not responsible for the actions of another. I recall leaving a Steve Miller concert at RedRocks in Colorado years ago because there was so much dope. I figured if I got lightheaded, it was affecting me, and could be measured in my blood or urine. So I opted to leave. I made no effort to sue on my own. In areas where it is decriminalized this will be more and more of an issue. Same with unregulated CBD in food products. There is no reliable manner to control the THC level or trust what the label says (See articles regarding male sexual potency products purchased at gas stations). All that said, don’t lock yourself in a small bathroom with 5 guys smoking and expect to get a pass…

Thank you for both your responses, Desk and amberbunny. What you both said makes sense and was also my line of thinking as well. amberbunny, you hit on exactly where I was coming from - though I’m less concerned about failing a drug test. I just wouldn’t want anybody to claim or accuse me of “consuming” anything that I was inadvertently exposed to. Though as you both said, the onus wouldn’t be on me in situations like that, so I know logically that would probably be unlikely to happen. That’s also why I’m steering clear of anything CBD-related, though I wouldn’t care to try it anyway. In any case, thanks again!

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The CBD and legalization of MJ is going to cause denials. I can’t imagine what this has done to the cleared industry in Colorado. I know of several who tried claiming “But it was legal there…” Not for cleared employees. And right now the CBD issue is unregulated. I know my 80 year old mom uses it. She said some was worthless, and others…well, lets just say she sounds happy as can be when she uses brand X. I think there is a measurable level of THC in that brand but she is 80 and has aches and pains. This will be the interesting times the Chinese curse spoke of.


Interestingly, not much that was promised about legalization has come true and MJ and CBD are actually pretty poor pain killers. There has never been a serious study of their use for pain. All of the study have compared the use of MJ to . . . the use of nothing. It hasn’t even been compared to aspirin a medical study.

You can also, if want to make the effort, discover that violent crime has actually increased in each state that has had recreational use long enough to produce reliable numbers. Auto deaths have increased along with “driving while high” accidents and citations. Other medical and mental issues are on the increase but enough isn’t known yet to tie them back to legalization.

Legalization may continue to spread but in the end, it will be shown to be no safer and perhaps more dangerous than alcohol.