Security Clearance denied

I was recently denied clearance for a state investigative department for a non law enforcement role. I’m devastated because I’ve been through months of testing and interviewing. I was told that the investigator saw a disqualification and did not contact my references. My issue is that I have not been told what that disqualification was and have not received an SOR yet. I read in the paperwork that past single use drug usage is usually not a factor and was completely honest. These are the only possible things I can speculate:

I admitted to smoking pot one time in my life in 2017, almost 2 years ago. I also admitted to trying cocaine once in 2016 but that it was a one time deal.

I was also terminated from a retail job 8 years ago ( I was 21) for giving a discount to someone.

Could any of these be reasons? if so can I appeal? If these are the reasons, can I ever apply for clearance again?

When you say “state investigative department” I take it you mean this was for a position with a state agency and not the State Department.

I’d say at least 99% of the discussion here has to do with federal investigations and determinations of eligibility for federal security clearance and public trust. I suspect that the policies differ widely once you start talking about any of the 50 states.

Some people have had luck working with attorneys, maybe there is a law practice in your state’s capitol that could take on the case.

You’re right I goofed, looked into my paperwork and it was actually a Peace Officer level background check (POST) that I failed. I was told thereafter Id have to take a Secret clearance. I know with police checks they don’t have to necessarily send a SOR so I might be screwed. But if I ever go for federal clearance would I have to disclose this? I may never know the reason why.

100 percent sure that your use of Hard Drugs is what did you in.

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Understandable but I’ve also known people who have passed and did worse/ more things. is it because of the timing?

NO, not the timing, coke is a serious drug and most agencies that have a PO POST check will not hire you. As I have stated before illegal use of drugs not only affects the user but society as a whole. More and more agencies are going to deny an clearance to former illegal drug users.

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It’s a combination of the recency, the particular drug and your age at the time of use.

You are now 29 years old. That puts your drug use past your mid-20’s, well out of “college or youthful experimentation” AND only two years in the past. This shows poor judgement as an adult and you are trying to get cleared for a law enforcement agency.

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My ex spouse answered truthfully about one time use of a hard drug (acid) at age 17. She applied for a law enforcement position at age 43. She was denied. They too require a poly and compassionately explained it would be revealed during the Poly and disqualify her there as well…