should i take some time away from gov contracting?

I have been working as contractor for a a few years now and currently hold a public trust. this was the first job coming out of college and I have been looking to transition to another job recently. I have interviewed with several companies and have a few offers. all require a minimum public trust. I interviewed for a TS/CSI w/ poly position and although interview went well, I did not pass their initial security prescreening. As you can imagine poly entails a thorough investigation into someone’s life so I was completely honest. I realized in this prescreening that I did not disclose the few instances where I experimented with marijuana while in college (early 2010s) in my first investigation that gave me my current public trust. My college years are a blur to me. I drank a lot back then and experimented with marijuana while intoxicated 2 or 3 times probably. Last summer/fall I also tried an edible once while holding my current trust. Marijuana is not a part of my life, I don’t use it and don’t have any desire to use it. I simply made the mistakes of 1) not disclosing my experimental use while college in my first investigation and 2) my slip of judgement last year when i tried that edible which I regret so much now. Being considered for TS w/ poly made me realize I need to make sure to disclose this in any future investigation because I definitely would like a TS+poly clearance at some point in my career. My concern here is if I were to accept one of the offers which only require a public trust, and I disclose my experimental use while in college and admit to trying an edible last year, is it likely that i will get rejected since i didn’t disclose it in my first investigation and also due to the fact that I tried an edible while holding a public trust? I am scared I will get rejected and therefor not be able to apply for another year. Should I avoid gov contract jobs for a while right now? should I wait at least until a year has gone by since i tried that edible? I am finally understanding the severity of my actions and i really want to make things right. I didn’t disclose my experimental use in my first investigation primarily because i don’t remember. I genuinely don’t remember much because like i said my first years in college are a blur to me.

OK . . . Here’s the problem . . . You used, last year, knowing that it was forbiden while in a position of public trust. You violated that trust. Just a year ago. Now, you tell us that “marijuana is not a part of my life” . . . Why should anyone believe you?

you’re right, why should anyone believe me. Do you think I have better chance leaving the federal sector for a few years, stay clean, and then reapply once i’ve shown responsibility? or is this something that will automatically disqualify me everytime.

I asked why anyone should believe you and you just give up?

Tell me something . . . Tell my why I should believe you! I realize that you don’t have to convince me but you ARE going to have to convince someone. If you can’t explain it and show someone that you can be trusted when you say that you won’t use again then you will be disqualified every time.

When your job does a re-investigation of your current public trust you had better come clean and show substantial reasons why they should continue to trust you. Show actions, not make promises.