Security Clearance Discrepancy

I currently posses a secret clearance, and am now applying for a Top Secret Clearance.

On my previous secret clearance request, I had answered no to illegal drug use in the last seven years. In fact, I had experimented once with marijuana my freshmen year of High-school six years ago. Should I answer yes to the question on the Top Secret request, and provide an explanation? Or is it better to stay consistent with my answer from the previous request and avoid a discrepancy?

Some background information:

I’m a 20 year old Army ROTC cadet. I made a mistake in my first secret clearance application, and indicated that I had not used illegal drugs in the past seven years. A year later I am applying for a top secret clearance, where I now realize my mistake. I had experimented with marijuana once six years ago.

What should I do? If I indicate that I had in fact used illegal drugs on this application for top secret, will it indicate a discrepancy between my answers on the two separate clearance requests? Or should I remain consistent with my answer on the previous application.

You know what the correct answer is, and being that you are training to become an Army Officer it should be even more clear. Continue the falsification or come forth and admit your mistake and accept the consequences, if any. The issue of the single time drug use as a minor is not the issue, but rather not disclosing it as required. What would you expect those that you will lead in the future to do?

Thank you for your reply. What is the best way to go about explaining the discrepancy in my answers between the two requests? Should I add a comment on the clearance request? I had simply not thought about it hard enough and couldn’t remember the first time around, and want to correct my mistake this time.

Put in in the comments section for the applicable question under drug use. You will be asked for further clarification during your security interview with the background investigator.