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Drugs will ruin your career

Drugs ruin career

(Courtesy Photo)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- It’s a Friday night, the base exercise is over, and you go to a party with your friends and co-workers in Airway Heights. Sometime in the night one of your friends comes up and asks you to smoke some marijuana. They tell you it is legal in Washington State, so you cave to peer pressure and take a few hits. Fast forward to Monday morning and you are selected for a random urinalysis and you test positive. You thought it was ok. Now your career is in jeopardy.

You are at home working in the garage and you slip and fall off of your ladder. Although nothing is broken, you have bruises and severe pain. Instead of going to the emergency room, you remember your spouse has a stash of Codeine pills in your bathroom. You take a couple and decide to drive, subsequently getting into a vehicle accident, injuring yourself and others. You are now facing a charge of driving under the influence or worse.

The above examples are violations of the Drug Involvement Department of Defense Adjudicative Guideline when it comes to your security clearance. Through the DoD Continuous Evaluation Program, any member holding a clearance is subject to random drug testing as a condition of employment or maintaining a security clearance. Although marijuana is legal within the state of Washington, it is not legal for federal employees. Misuse of prescription drugs, even if prescribed to you, is also a violation and could jeopardize your clearance or federal employment.

The DoD Consolidated Adjudications Facility regards investments in commercial entities that own, sell, and distribute marijuana as a security issue under the adjudicative guidelines. According to CAF policy, these guidelines do not recognize any exception for "passive investment" in what is actually criminal activity or enterprise under federal law.

The number one question asked to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing information protection office in regards to this topic, “What happens if I am involved in drugs in a negative way?” The Bond Amendment of 2008 prohibits all federal agencies from granting or renewing a security clearance if you are an unlawful user, misuse (prescriptions included), or diagnosed as addicted to any controlled substance. Anyone holding a clearance, military or civilian, most likely will permanently lose their security clearance and may no longer be eligible to work for the federal government.

If there are any security clearance questions, contact your unit security manager or the 92nd ARW IP personnel security office at (509) 247-5860.