Used marijuana only once less than a year ago and got a response from an NSA job. Should I bother to respond?

I graduated with my master’s degree in computer science this past December (2018) and during my graduation party I ate a weed brownie to try marijuana for the first time. Prior to this I had not consumed marijuana of any kind, nor have I consumed it in any form since. I also applied to a job with the NSA because Facebook served up an ad to me from the NSA. I applied thinking they would never respond, but I actually got an email today.

Should I bother responding? Thanks!

If you are under the age of 24, you will likely need 12 months since last use, and an understanding you cannot use while cleared. If you are older than 24 you may need 24 months to clear. Attend the interview, ask pointed questions on what credit score they want to work with and what their minor recreational use policies are. If you have the particular skill set they want they may be flexible. However, I would imagine they want a FICO north of 650 and no recreational use in the past 12 months from the date you sign the SF86. Not at time of clearance.

They probably give leeway on credit scores for recent grads, as their credit scores are typically lower due to taking out loans for cars, apartments…not to mention student loans. Also, recent grads don’t have much credit history so there is that factor as well.

If that was really and truly your one and only time using marihuana (the Demon Weed) it should not be a problem, but be advised that they hear that sort of thing a lot and eventually the applicant admits to more use… so be prepared for some poking and prodding on that topic.


I would not find it unusual in the slightest for a person completing college to have used, and rather frequently. But at least one person fresh out of college was denied due tot he frequency during college. So it is a toss up. Even my state (Virginia) has once again put an effort into legalizing it for medicinal and recreational. The tide is changing but it is a federal requirement. So depending on who is adjudicating…makes all the difference in the world.