The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has updated its hiring policy to not exclude potential candidates for using cannabis outside of a year, which is down from three years, according to Marijuana Moment report. Additionally, candidates will not be disqualified for using cannabis prior to their 18th birthday; instead, adjudicated personnel will use the “whole person” concept to judge a candidate’s agency worthiness.
The agency made no formal announcement of their policy change but hinted at it in a Tweet from its Chicago branch.
“#FBI is firmly committed to a drug-free society and workplace. Constant review of our hiring and drug policies ensures that we continue to attract the most qualified candidates to learn if recent changes to our marijuana policy affect you as a candidate…”—FBI Chicago branch via Twitter
The change comes a year after the FBI announced it was reviewing its policy related to hemp-derived CBD and seven years after former Director James Comey hinted that the agency was missing out on talent due to their restrictive cannabis policies.
“I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals,” he said at the time, “and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.”
Despite the changes, the FBI remains unfriendly to cannabis in the workplace, and drugs other than cannabis still have a ten-year abstinence requirement in the hiring process. They exclude candidates who are “currently using illegal drugs, misusing or abusing legal drugs or other substances for illicit purposes at the time of the application process.”
Moreover, the site notes that “the FBI is firmly committed to a drug-free society and workplace. The FBI balances the needs of the organization and the importance of keeping the public integrity necessary to accomplish its law enforcement and intelligence missions by hiring the most qualified candidates.”
The FBI is taking the lead on this issue, with agencies and branches of the military, such as the Navy, NASA, Air Force, Coast Guard, and DEA all clarifying their ban on CBD and THC cannabis products in recent years. According to Marijuana Moment, only the Department of Transportation, who said they would not test drivers for CBD, have loosened their cannabis policies, although President Joe Biden (D) has issued waivers for prior cannabis use to some staff.
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