Winners Don't Use Drugs, but Future FBI Employees Do


The FBI may become more tolerant of youthful drug use by job applicants. Under current policy, the bureau automatically rejects applicants who admit smoking marijuana in the previous three years or more than 15 times or who admit using other illegal drugs in the previous 10 years or more than five times. Under the policy the FBI is considering, which would apply to non-gun-toting jobs such as intelligence analysis, translation, computer work, and accounting, the bureau would take a more holistic approach in evaluating an applicant's background and character. (Would-be special agents would still be subject to the stricter standard.) "Some senior FBI managers have been frustrated that they could not hire applicants who acknowledged occasional marijuana use in college but who in some cases already perform top-secret work at other government agencies," the Associated Press reports. A.P. also quotes former Bush administration terrorism adviser Richard Clarke:

What people did when they were 18 or 21, I think that is pretty irrelevant….We have to recognize there are a couple of generations now who regarded marijuana use, while it's technically illegal, as nothing more serious than jaywalking.

[Thanks to Bruce Mirken at the Marijuana Policy Project for the tip.]