New FBI Drug Policy a Nod Toward Modern Realities


The new tolerance of past drug use by FBI job applicants is an acknowledgment of reality in a country where up to a third of the population has tried marijuana, reports the Washington Post. The loosened standards also come as the FBI struggles to fill jobs, particularly in counterterrorism and intelligence, which draw from a more varied pool of applicants than traditional agent positions. It nonetheless seems odd for the FBI, whose longtime director J. Edgar Hoover once railed against young thugs filled with “false courage from a Marijuana cigarette.”

Under the new guideline, job applicants with a history of drug use will no longer be disqualified from employment at the bureau. Old guidelines barred FBI employment to anyone who had used marijuana more than 15 times or who had tried other illegal narcotics more than five times. The FBI’s drug-use policy still is among the toughest in federal government. The CIA requires only that applicants have not used illegal drugs within the past 12 months. Even the Drug Enforcement Administration leaves open the possibility of hiring employees who admit to “youthful and experimental use of marijuana.”


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