Secret clearance -sweating sexual misconduct & drug use


So I am going up for my first security clearance (level secret) ever and now that I’m researching what all goes into it I’m starting to get nervous.

First up drugs in the past 7 years I have smoked marijuana about 10 times the last one being st. Patricks day 2014 (March). I have no issues never doing it again and stated so in my sf86 and I was not big time into it in the first place.

Now sexual misconduct. I have had relations with other women in the past beyond my cohabitant up to as recent as last week. Once. I became aware this was a clearance issue I have ended things with her and she understands as its my dream to do this job I have been offered. I know a big thing is the passage of time but also saw something about private consentual and discreet.

So I know that is alot to take in but am I screwed. And should just withdraw my app? Also if a clearance was denied how long until you can apply for one again?

Thanks in advance!


The hurdle you will have to overcome is the illegal drug use, seeing as how recent you last use was. They will have to look at various factors to determine if it can be mitigated. It all depends on the position, the agency, and the adverse information.


Thank you I am hopefully the drug issue won’t hold me back I was a once maybe 2 times a year if that. I stated on the form the 7-10 times is even being generous about it. In 3 days it will have been 8 months ago. All my friends are aware of what I’m going through and no longer “offer” and as I said I never was big on it in the first place.

You didn’t mention anything about the sexual part. Is that not a concern? That’s what I’m worried about more because it was so recent. Also confusing I see nowhere in the sf86 form to input sexual stuff. Where would this subject be breached? Is it not taken I to account for a secret level clearance?

Thanks again!


Drug use is recent and “maybe two times per year” over a seven year period shows judgment issues. The sexual information will come into play when you are asked if there is any information about your background which, if known, could be used against you to blackmail you. What would you do to prevent your cohabitant from finding out about your cheating? It’s something you can be blackmailed about. If you have disclosed the cheating to your cohabitant then it won’t be an issue.


Thank you for that info. I will say the few times ive done it (mj) in my life it was a stupid mistake but what I gather their more concerned about if I woul do it again. I can only hope they are mot as stern as you are :). I would stay as far away fron it of I knew my livelihood and clearance were dependent on it.

On to the cheating If it comes up with regards to blackmail I would happily tell my cohabitant pat of me feels these rules are in place for the guy that was bedded by a foreign spy amd will be blackmailing him for govt secrets. My indiscretions are with someone ive been friends with longer than ive even known my cohabitant. Im not trying to justify im right by any means just explaining I think blackmail is a very far stone to throw . Also will they typically interview her as well or just take note of it. Im not worried if they do jusy think I should ket her know if its coming.

Thanks again!