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Secret Security Clearance - questions about drug use

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? CA

I'm a recent graduate from college that just got offered a job that requires a security clearance, and I need to fill out the SF-86. I have some drug use (marijuana) approximately 3 years ago, while in college, that lasted for about 2 months. I then used again two to three times over the next 8 months.

I have a few questions:

First, I do not remember the exact amount of times I used marijuana. The form specifically asks the number of times used, what should I do about this? All I remember is the time period and general frequency, is it okay to estimate?

Also, I'm a bit worried because the company's security officer reviews the form first to give an estimate on how long the clearance will take to get. I'm relatively confident that I'd get the clearance (I'm good on all other points, and drug usage was experimental and at college), but if the officer gives a disfavorable time estimate I may not get the job. Will drug usage make a big impact on the time estimate to get the clearance?

And lastly, is there anything I can do to assist my case that the drug usage was experimental? For example, could I include a continuation with the SF-86 that states I have no intention to use drugs in the future?

This is sort of my dream job/career path, so I hope I didn't screw it up with some drug use in college. Any help on these questions would be appreciated. Thanks!


I'm not a lawyer!

The most important thing you can do on security clearance paperwork is to be totally and absolutely honest to the best of your recollection. If they find out later that you lied you could lose your job. Everyone has skeletons in their closets and using marijuana a few times in college is nothing compared to what others have done. I don't see a need to state that you have no intention of using illegal drugs in the future. All that will accomplish is to give the person reading the paperwork cause to think that you are overly enthusiastic about not using drugs, maybe for a reason. Be blunt, honest and direct and you'll do fine. :D

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