Background Investigations

An Empty Promise to DOHA to Not Smoke Weed in the Future

I recently read a Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case where a DoD contractor was denied continued eligibility for a security clearance because of a history of illegal drug use (marijuana). Nowadays marijuana use is not a big deal as long as you have been off it for at least a few months and state your intent to quit using it. But that does not apply if you already have a clearance. The guy in this case stated his intent to quit using it during two separate investigations, once in 2015 when he underwent a national security background investigation and again in 2020 when he underwent additional vetting. Here is his story:

This contractor worked as a program analyst and was granted eligibility to occupy a public trust position in 2010 after a favorable background investigation was done. During a national security investigation in 2015 he told the investigator he had smoked marijuana with a friend at least four times in 2012-13 and that he had no intention to use it again. He eventually was granted a security clearance. In 2020 he was asked to fill out another SF-86 for a new job and was interviewed again about his marijuana use. This time he admitted to using it in 2012-13 as previously stated and also about ten times between 2015-18 while holding a security clearance with the same friend. Once again, he stated his intent to not use it in the future.

Obviously, there is a lack of credibility on his part since this was the second time, he acknowledged he knew it was illegal and avowed to cease and desist. The DOHA judge noted that although the contractor claims to have not used it since 2018, his empty promises to stop using it far outweigh the time elapsed since last use and his track record indicates a potential for future use. His appeal to reinstate his security clearance was denied.