TS or Interim Secret with drug use?

I am a recent grad (21 years old) with a few potential job options that would require clearance. One a TS clearance and the other Secret (work contingent on receiving interim). Both with federal agencies (not IC). I don’t think I have any real issues in my background except for marijuana use 3 times 15 months ago. (Would likely be 16-18 months when I fill out sf/86). It was all within about two weeks with old friends (I was at home from college during Covid).

I intend to mitigate through no/less contact with those people, youth, different stage in life, etc. However, I’m afraid time since use is simply too soon.

I am interested in your thoughts. Would it perhaps be more prudent to go for one position over the other considering this issue?

It really depends but most IC Agencies want at least 24 months since last use.

I’m not sure it would make a difference between the two levels of clearance. Regarding what @velcroTech said about 24 months, yeah, I used to think that was the case, but it seems like they are more flexible now, especially when everything else is clean.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I will add these are not for positions within the IC, rather for other federal agencies. Would that make the time since use more favorable?

Bottom line is that the more time that has passed the better. The other major player here is association with folks who still use drugs. Less contact is still contact, so I would advise getting to a place where you can truthfully say you have no contact with anyone who uses illegal drugs. And you are correct about mitigating factors of age, immaturity, etc. Those are important.

You’ll have to provide all the same information for either secret or ts, so I wouldn’t let that impact your choice.

Each agency will have different rules/stipulations about recent drug use. Just list everything accurately and discuss it openly with the investigator.