FBI not changing rules on pot and personnel


Current prohibitions against hiring people who have recently smoked marijuana might be making the FBI’s job harder, but the agency isn’t planning on changing its policy.

FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDopey Russian ads didn't swing voters — federal coverups did Assessing Trump's impeachment odds through a historic lens Drama surrounding Shulkin — what is the future of VA health care? MORE on Wednesday walked back a claim earlier this week that current rules were making it difficult to hire good computer experts.

“I did not say I’m going to change that ban,” Comey said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “I said I have to grapple with the change in my workforce.”

“Look, one of our challenges that we face is getting a good workforce at the same time when young people’s attitudes about marijuana and our states’ attitudes about marijuana are leading more and more of them to try it,” he added. “I am absolutely dead-set against using marijuana.”

On Monday, Comey indicated a willingness to change the bureau's no-tolerance policy, which prohibits it from hiring people who have smoked pot in the last three years.

“I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cyber criminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” he told an annual lawyer conference.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE (R-Ala.) on Wednesday said he was “very disappointed” by Comey’s remarks, pointing out that the American Medical Association, for instance, describes marijuana as “a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern."

Comey’s comments, Sessions said, “could be interpreted as one more example of leadership in America dismissing the seriousness of marijuana use, and that could undermine our ability to convince young people not to go down that dangerous path.”

Polls across the country in recent years have shown a steady increase in the public’s acceptance of marijuana use. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have already voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, and a handful of other states could follow suit in coming years.