TS Clearance - Personal History Statement discrepancy

I have worked in a city government job for approximately 16 years. Upon applying I completed a Personal History form which asked if I had ever used cannabis. At the time I filled out this application I was an idiot and stated no to this question, despite having tried cannabis a small handful of times several years prior in high school (I have never used cannabis or any other drug since, and have passed every drug screen). Disclosing this information may not have necessarily disqualified me at the time but I was too embarrassed to admit it.

I was recently requested by my employer to apply for TS clearance for duties related to my job. The application and eqip is being handled by a federal security officer with the federal agency. My cannabis usage was well beyond the scope of the relevant question on the SF86 so I answered no. However, during my BI I was asked if I EVER used cannabis and I answered truthfully. The BI explained that my personnel file would be pulled from my agency to cross check my responses.

From my research I have learned that a clearance denial from the cannabis use alone would be highly unlikely due to the passage of time and because I was forthcoming with the information without being confronted. However, my employer’s personal history statement on file will clearly state that I withheld this information 16 years ago. From my understanding, this is a clear violation of Guideline E Personal Conduct, specifically:

  1. The deliberate omission, concealment, or falsification of relevant and material facts from any personnel security questionnaire, personal history statement, or similar form used to conduct investigations, determine employment qualifications, award benefits or status, determine security clearance eligibility or trustworthiness, or award fiduciary responsibilities;

With this in mind, what is the likelihood of a clearance denial? The remainder of my application would present no other concerns that I am aware of (no debt, no criminal history, no work complaints or discipline, no foreign contacts).

I am also aware of the implications of the Privacy Act that this information submitted by me is protected. Is there any plausible situation in which the federal security officer (with an agency for whom I do not work), or anyone else, would share this information with my employer’s HR? The obvious concern is that I will be terminated immediately for a stupid error in judgment 16 years ago, but I am prepared to take responsibility for my actions.

It is very surprising to me that your investigator used the term “ever” in cannabis usage. Usage more than 7 years ago is something most investigators care very little about and is a non issue. Are you sure they didn’t ask have you EVER used illegal drugs while possessing a security clearance or in a position of public safety?


No, the investigator asked very specifically about any prior cannabis usage without regard to clearances. My response was very clear that the usage was before my employment, and well beyond the scope of the SF86.

If you are asking the adjudicative guideline questions correctly, we are to ask about any illegal drug use.

That being said, not so sure about the cross checking with the prior statement. Sounds like an over zealous Investigator to me but Ive been wrong before.


Thank you. Overzealous investigators aside, have you ever heard of issues such as this leading to a denial? Sorting through adjudicative decisions online, I’ve been unable to find any similar scenarios that didn’t involve an omission on the SF86.

Time and distance from the behavior. You fess’d up. I’d not lose sleep over this issue.