In an effort for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to continue recruiting young people to work in their cyber crime division, the agency is being forced to unofficially relax its policies when it comes to the past experiences of some candidates with marijuana.
As it stands, the FBI will not consider hiring any person who reveals a history of cannabis use within the past three years. However, in order for the agency to successfully launch a new pilot program, which is being used to train high school age hackers to run security against cyber criminals, the FBI is reportedly sometimes turning a blind eye to the past cannabis consumption of talented cadets.
Earlier this week, during a segment on CNBC News, special agent Scott Smith with the agency’s headquarters in Pittsburgh said the “FBI is always evolving” in regards to it policy against the use of cannabis. Although the tone of the interview did not suggest that the FBI was prepared to eliminate cannabis from its drug-free criteria, Smith did imply that the agency is fully aware that it will soon have to tackle the issue in order to continue recruiting new blood.
Last year, FBI Director James Comey told The Wall Street Journal that it’s no-tolerance stance against marijuana was causing the agency to lose some of its best cyber crime recruits.
“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” he said.
A report on the future of the FBI’s cyber crime initiative published earlier this year by the Office of the Inspector General, found that “the FBI loses a significant number of people who may be interested because of the FBI’s extensive background check process and other requirements, such as all employees must be United States citizens and must not have used marijuana in the past 3 years, and cannot have used any other illegal drug in the past 10 years.”
The inevitable change in the FBI’s drug policy is almost certain to come within the next few years, as more states move to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.
Do you think the FBI should relax its stance on cannabis use for potential employees in this new cultural and political climate? Share your opinion below.