Even though legal in some states, the White House has weeded out employees who have previously smoked marijuana.
The Biden administration had reportedly assured staffers who admitted to marijuana use in the past that their previous actions may be overlooked but ultimately decided to dismiss them.
Some of the staff dismissals come despite the fact that marijuana is legal in the states given that it is for recreational and medical use. While that may be the case, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Last month, the Biden administration announced it was issuing new guidelines which appeared to make them more lenient towards past marijuana smokers who were potential appointees in the Executive Office of the President and were seeking ‘Top Secret’ clearance.
According to NBC News, one official described the changes as an ‘intensive consultation with security officials and stated that the White House would potentially waive the rules regarding marijuana use if the person had used it on a ‘limited’ basis.
“The White House’s policy will maintain the absolute highest standards for service in government that the president expects from his administration while acknowledging the reality that state and local marijuana laws have changed significantly across the country in recent years,” a spokesperson said at that time.
“This decision was made following intensive consultation with career security officials and will effectively protect our national security while modernizing policies to ensure that talented and otherwise well-qualified applicants with limited marijuana use will not be barred from serving the American people.”
The Daily Beast reported that despite initial promises to waive the rules for some, ‘dozens’ of White House employees have been suspended, asked to resign, and placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use.
They also reported that White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic led a series of one-on-one calls this month.
“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers– rather, ex-staffers,” a previous staffer said. “I was asked to resign.”
The source added that ‘nothing was explained’ on these one-on-one calls.
“The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained,” the source said.
The Daily Beast added that it appears as if younger employees have been targeted as well as those from states where marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized.