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Our Drug Policy

The United States Secret Service is committed to a drug-free workplace. Therefore, the unlawful use of drugs by Secret Service employees is not tolerated. Furthermore, applicants for employment with the Secret Service who currently use illegal drugs will be found unsuitable for employment. The Secret Service does not condone any prior unlawful drug activity by applicants, but it recognizes that some otherwise qualified applicants may have used or otherwise interacted with illegal drugs at some point in their past. Consequently, when adjudicating an applicant for a security clearance, any prior illegal drug activity along with various considerations associated with that activity will be weighed in that adjudication process.

Misrepresentation of Drug Activity

An applicant for employment with the Secret Service shall not deliberately misrepresent their history of drug activity in connection with the application for Secret Service employment. If deliberate misrepresentation is found, the applicant will be ineligible for employment (Applicants will sign a statement at the Factor V Security Interview locking in their response regarding their history of drug activity. Any changes requested by the applicant to this response after signing this statement may result in the applicant being ineligible for employment with the Secret Service for three years).

Drug History Considerations

Marijuana

An applicant who has used or purchased marijuana during his/her lifetime may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. Marijuana includes but is not limited to cannabis, hashish, hash oil, medical cannabis, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in both synthetic and natural forms.

To be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the applicant should meet the following criteria regarding how recently marijuana was last used or purchased:

Age When Last Used or Purchase (Not Current Age) Eligibility Criteria:

  • Age 24 and younger- The date of application for employment should be at least 1 year since the last use or purchase

  • Age 25- The date of application for employment should be at least 2 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 26- The date of application for employment should be at least 3 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 27- The date of application for employment should be at least 4 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 28 and older- The date of application for employment should be at least 5 years since the last use or purchase

Use or purchase of marijuana includes use or purchase for medicinal purposes or use or purchase in jurisdictions (e.g., states or countries) where use or purchase is legal.

An applicant who has sold, distributed, or cultivated marijuana may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. Eligibility may be considered in instances when the applicant sold, cultivated, or distributed marijuana not for income or profit, including for personal use or recreational use. Personal use includes use with friends and relatives (including immediate family members). Recreational use is defined as the sale, cultivation, or distribution, other than for personal use, not intended for income or profit. The amounts sold, cultivated, or distributed will be considered.

To be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the date of application for employment should be at least 10 years since the applicant last sold, cultivated, or distributed marijuana for personal or recreational use.

If the applicant had instances of sale, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana beyond what is described above, the applicant is ineligible for employment with the Secret Service.

Prescription Drugs and Over-the-Counter Drugs

An applicant who has misused prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs during his/her lifetime may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. Prescription drugs include, but are not limited to, Codeine, Oxycodone/Oxycontin, Morphine, Ritalin, Diazepam/Valium, Hydrocodone, Xanax, and Adderall.

To be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the applicant should meet the following criteria regarding how recently prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs were last misused:

A. If the applicant used the prescription drug in its intended purpose but without a proper prescription, it is not considered misuse relative to this policy.

B. If the applicant used a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug for other than its intended purpose it is considered misuse. To be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the applicant should meet the following criteria regarding how recently prescription drugs were last misused:

Age When Last Used or Purchased (Not Current Age) Eligibility Criteria:

  • Age 24 and younger- The date of application for employment should be at least 1 year since the last use or purchase

  • Age 25- The date of application for employment should be at least 2 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 26- The date of application for employment should be at least 3 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 27- The date of application for employment should be at least 4 years since the last use or purchase

  • Age 28 and older- The date of application for employment should be at least 5 years since the last use or purchase

C. If an applicant has prolonged use of a prescription drug without a proper prescription, regardless of whether it was used for its intended purpose, or has prolonged misuse of a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug, to be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the date of application for employment should be at least 5 years since the last prolonged use without a proper prescription or misuse.

An applicant who has illegally sold or distributed over-the-counter or prescription drugs may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. Eligibility may be considered in instances when the applicant illegally sold or distributed over-the-counter or prescription drugs recreationally and not for income or profit. In addition, the amounts sold or distributed will be considered. In such instances, to be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the application for employment should be at least 10 years since the last occasion of sale or distribution.

If the applicant had instances of sale or distribution of over-the-counter or prescription drugs beyond what is described above, the applicant is ineligible for employment with the Secret Service.

Use of Drugs While in a Public Trust Position

A Public Trust position, as defined by 5 CFR § 731.106, is a position designated as having a high or moderate risk level as determined by the position's potential for adverse impact to the efficiency or integrity of the service. Such positions may involve policy making, major program responsibility, public safety and health, law enforcement duties, fiduciary responsibilities or other duties demanding a significant degree of public trust, and positions involving access to or operation or control of financial records, with a significant risk for causing damage or realizing personal gain.

An applicant who, while in a Public Trust position, used or purchased marijuana, steroids, or, used, for other than its intended purpose, a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug, may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. However, to be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the date of application should be at least ten years since the last use or purchase of these drugs while the applicant was in a Public Trust position, regardless of whether the use occurred while the applicant was on or off duty.

The frequency of use and the circumstances must also be considered.

If, while in a Public Trust position, an applicant used or purchased MDMA, cocaine, other hard drugs or had prolonged use of a prescription drug without a proper prescription, regardless of whether it was used for its intended purpose, or had prolonged misuse of a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug, the applicant is disqualified from employment with the Secret Service. This ineligibility applies whether the illegal use occurred while the applicant was on or off duty at the time of use.

Use of Drugs While Holding a Security Clearance

An applicant who, while holding a security clearance, used or purchased marijuana, steroids, or, used, for other than its intended purpose, a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug, may still be eligible for employment with the Secret Service. However, the following general restrictions apply:

If the applicant was working in a Public Trust position, to be eligible for employment with the Secret Service, the date of application for employment, should be at least ten years since the last use or purchase of these drugs while the applicant was holding a security clearance in a Public Trust position, regardless of whether the use occurred while the applicant was on or off duty.

If the applicant was not working in a position of public trust, the timeframe to be eligible for employment with the Secret Service depends on the drug used or purchased and adheres to the timeframe requirements outlined previously in this policy.

The frequency of use and the circumstances must also be considered.

If, while holding a security clearance, an applicant used or purchased MDMA, cocaine, other hard drugs or had prolonged use of a prescription drug without a proper prescription, regardless of whether it was used for its intended purpose, or had prolonged misuse of a prescription drug or over-the-counter drug, the applicant is disqualified from employment with the Secret Service. This ineligibility applies whether the illegal use occurred while the applicant was on or off duty at the time of use.

Other Considerations

For all of the above, in addition to the extent and type of usage, age at the time of usage, and the passage of time since the last usage, purchase, sale or cultivation, other mitigating factors and circumstances to consider are how the drugs were obtained or sold, under what circumstances the drugs were used, whether the drugs were used for medicinal purposes, whether use of the drug was legal and/or legally obtained in the jurisdiction (e.g., state or country) where the drug was used, and any compelling mitigating circumstances.