Senate Committee Decides to Let Intelligence Agencies Hire People Who Have Used Marijuana


Language included in the committee’s annual authorization bill for the intelligence community – which passed unanimously on Wednesday – would prohibit intelligence agencies from discriminating against job applicants solely on the basis of past use of the drug, which is now legal for recreational use in 19 states and Washington DC.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sponsored the measure, called it “a common-sense change to ensure IC can recruit the most capable people possible.”

The senses. Martin Heinrich and Kirsten Gillibrand, of New Mexico and New York, also helped support the amendment, according to Wyden.

The Walls Street Journal was first to report the news.

National security officials have long argued that the lifetime ban on marijuana use has limited the pool of qualified candidates for key positions, particularly as attracting and retaining tech and cybersecurity talent has become increasingly no longer a priority for the community.

Reflecting this concern, the FBI quietly updated its hiring guidelines last year to ease restrictions on marijuana use.

“Applicants cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) in the year prior to their application date” , the office said. the three-year withdrawal period.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill and across the country have warmed to legalization. The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, though the vote was restricted and the future of the legislation in the Senate is uncertain at best. More than two-thirds of US states have now legalized cannabis to some degree – some states restrict cannabis to medical use only – and others are likely on the way.

The full text of the Intelligence Committee amendment is not public, and the legislation still needs to be passed by the full Senate and House, and signed by the president, before becoming law.

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