More Feds Relax Drugs-Related Hiring Restrictions

The U.S. military and many federal agencies have started to deprioritize prior cannabis use when considering new hires.

Full story after the jump.

More federal government agencies are relaxing their drugs-related hiring rules in an effort to attract younger hires, the New York Times reports.

The shift is likely due to the growing liberalization of cannabis policies throughout the country: 22 states plus Washington D.C. have now legalized adult-use cannabis, 38 states have legalized access to the plant in some form for medical purposes, and the majority of Americans say they support the end of federal cannabis prohibition.

During the past five years, more than 3,400 military recruits who failed the initial drug test were given a grace period to try again, the Times report said.

Meanwhile, the FBI already walked back some of its cannabis-related hiring restrictions in 2021 in an effort to attract younger and more tech-savvy recruits, and the CIA followed suit with similar changes last year, according to the report. Additionally, the U.S. Secret Service announced this week that its cannabis-related hiring policies had been updated to reflect the state of growing reforms at the state level, Marijuana Moment reports.

While federal employees still must abstain from using cannabis once they are hired, a federal proposal by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) would allow for admissions of cannabis use in security clearance interviews.

“We don’t want to be disqualifying half of the population, tens of millions of people, for having done something that most of our recent presidents have done. You’re taking huge numbers of people off the field.” — Raskin, via the New York Times

Along a similar vein, Marijuana Moment reported this week that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has updated its policies to allow saliva-based drug tests. The move should lead to more cannabis-friendly hires because urine tests — which have been the longtime standard for employee drug testing — are particularly good at catching cannabis use but not much else.

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