Update: FBI Director James Comey said he was joking when he made remarks about potentially amending the FBI’s policy on marijuana use. “I am absolutely dead set against using marijuana,” he said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. “I did not say that I’m going to change that ban.”
With marijuana use and innovation becoming more mainstream than ever before, drug tests could deter otherwise qualified candidates from joining certain companies. Apparently, even the Federal Bureau of Investigation is concerned about this.
The Wall Street Journal reports that FBI director James B. Comey is considering loosening its policy on marijuana use, which currently excludes any candidates who have consumed pot in the last three years. Prior to 2007, the bureau had excluded applicants who used marijuana more than 15 times in their lives.
Driving this potential change is a renewed focus on fighting cybercrime. The FBI has congressional authorization to add 2,000 new staff, many of them to fight hackers, but it can be hard to recruit programmers given their penchant for Mary Jane. “I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said at the bureau’s annual conference.
That’s something many tech veterans are acutely aware of.