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.