FBI open to hiring recent marijuana users

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Marijuana policies in the country are changing faster than Superman in a phone booth. After cities like Oakland and San Francisco essentially decriminalized use in the last decade, states like Colorado and Washington raced to be the first to tax and regulate marijuana outright.

After some initial skepticism, the federal government essentially gave the go ahead for those states to move forward uninhibited.  Then the US DOJ suggested that banks who provide loans and services to marijuana shops would face no federal problems.

Now the director of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, the FBI, tells the conservative Wall Street Journal that they are taking a second look at their policy of turning away applicants who admit previous marijuana use.

From Huffington Post, which borrows much from the Wall Street Journal:

James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Monday the agency is “grappling with the question” of how to amend its hiring policies that exclude anyone who has smoked pot in the previous three years from being considered for a job.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Comey made the comments while discussing the agencies’ growing battle against cyber criminals.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Congress has authorized the FBI to add 2,000 personnel to its rolls this year, and many of those new recruits will be assigned to tackle cyber crimes, a growing priority for the agency. And that’s a problem, Mr. Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at the New York City Bar Association in Manhattan. A lot of the nation’s top computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana.



Mr. Comey said that the agency was “grappling with the question right now” of how to amend the agency’s marijuana policies, which excludes from consideration anyone who has smoked marijuana in the previous three years, according to the FBI’s Web site. One conference goer asked Mr. Comey about a friend who had shied away from applying because of the policy. “He should go ahead and apply,” despite the marijuana use, Mr. Comey said.