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Marijuana usage and ROTC/Security Clearance


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Hey everybody, I just had a few questions which have really been concerning me lately. I was looking through the forums and stumbled upon the topic of marijuana usage, and how it will affect my chances on getting a slot. Here in lie my worries, last year in November ( I had just turned 17, senior year HS) I smoked a pretty heavy dosage of marijuana for the first time and definitely the LAST; the dosage was so potent that i broke down and had a panic attack that it sent me into an anxious episode for about 2 months. During those two months I visited the hospital and told them I had a panic attack after smoking weed for the first time, and they prescribed me anti anxiety medicine and my mother insisted I go to a psychologist to relieve my anxiety. I'm extremely worried that the drug use along with the "therapy" and medication could substantially affect my chances to even get into an ROTC program, and I really don't want that to be the case. I was never planning on lying ,but either way I'm almost positive that they will check my medical records and see that I had this unfortunate cinch on my medical history. I'm also a bit worried because I have told many people about my horrible experience with marijuana and I know that somehow the AF will contact these people to see if my story checks out. I have since then matured a lot and promised to myself and God that I would never touch any type of drug in my life ever again. I start school in spring and becoming an Air Force pilot has always been my goal, and I would hate that something so minute would disable me from achieving my dreams. I know what I did was wrong, but it is honestly the worst thing I have ever done in my life and I regret smoking that bong every day since. 

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Don't lie, but don't embellish.  When asked have you smoked pot, the answer is "yes." When asked how often, the answer is "one time only." Those are true answers, and will display to the questioner your drug use was not habitual, but a one-time "recreational use" mistake.  I wouldn't pile on a bunch of extra info (i.e. the whole anxiety thing) unless they specifically ask you about that stuff.  Don't offer up additional info until it's directly asked for.  After that, all you can do is hope for the best.  If you lie, they will find out and you will almost certainly lose any chance you did have at flying jets.

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Don't lie, but don't embellish.  When asked have you smoked pot, the answer is "yes." When asked how often, the answer is "one time only." Those are true answers, and will display to the questioner your drug use was not habitual, but a one-time "recreational use" mistake.  I wouldn't pile on a bunch of extra info (i.e. the whole anxiety thing) unless they specifically ask you about that stuff.  Don't offer up additional info until it's directly asked for.  After that, all you can do is hope for the best.  If you lie, they will find out and you will almost certainly lose any chance you did have at flying jets.

Thank you so much for such a quick response, I don't have any anxiety issues anymore and I'm back to my normal self, I really hope that this idiotic mistake remains in the past and won't affect me in achieving a life long goal. Do you think i should be worried though?; Meaning, Have people fessed up to smoking marijuana once and still gotten a slot?

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Have people fessed up to smoking marijuana once and still gotten a slot?

The majority of people I commissioned with through ROTC had "fessed up" about experimenting with weed. The first key here is that it was experimentation and not habitual. The second key is that they were honest and up front about it.

Another important point...make sure you are consistent in your answers to these questions. You will be doing security paperwork over and over again throughout your career, assuming you will hold a TS/SCI clearance. You will be asked the same questions over and over again for years. If you're asked the same question a few years from now right before you're due to commission, and the answer doesn't exactly match what you originally said in your ROTC application...you will probably have some problems.

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