Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
The White House has doubled-down on its dismissal of five staffers for past cannabis use.
Despite reports emerging earlier this month that the White House would offer some leeway for past cannabis consumption, five staffers were let go for that very reason.
Press secretary Jen Psaki defended the decision to reporters earlier this week.
“What we tried to do as an administration was work with the security service, who actually makes these determinations about suitability for serving in government,” she said, according to The Hill.
“So, that isn’t about anyone’s personal point of view, it’s about working through the process, the history and modernizing and taking steps to address the fact that marijuana is legal in a number of states across the country … [but] it is still illegal federally.”
Psaki added that “other security issues” were raised for some of the individuals who were fired but also called the decision an “unfortunate conclusion.”
“I think if marijuana was federally legal, that might be a different circumstance,” Psaki said when asked if Biden could bring the ex-staffers back into the fold.
In February, NBC reported that the Biden administration was issuing new guidelines and past cannabis use would no longer be automatically disqualifying for White House applicants. However, the range of that decision, and who the new guidelines apply to, is not entirely clear.
Individuals who have consumed other drugs, for example, or have had what is determined to be excessive levels of past cannabis use, are still not eligible to work in the White House.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, one of the staffers who was let go said that “nothing was explained.”
“The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained,” the ex-staffer said.
It is alleged that some of the staffers who were fired hail from states where cannabis is legal.