Rumor or Reality #1: Using marijuana can cost me my clearance, even if it is legal under state law in the state where I use it

Reality. Marijuana is illegal under federal law. If an individual uses marijuana while they have a clearance, they will very likely lose their clearance. Use of marijuana prior to having a clearance will likely raise concerns, but applicants may be able to mitigate those concerns under certain circumstances and with a promise not to be involved with illegal drugs in the future. As the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines recently concluded in a memorandum to adjudicative agencies, prior marijuana use “may be relevant to adjudications” but it is “not determinative.” Read our blog for more information on Haines’ recent memo.

See the full Rumor or Reality series here.