Smoking Weed Will Not be an Automatic Disqualifier for IC Jobs

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a provision for the 2023 Intelligence Authorization Act that will amend current language regarding past marijuana use which is a disqualifier for some federal agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and a few others. This follows a similar trend in policy shifts published by the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence who both have issued guidance memorandums stating past marijuana use should not in and of itself be a disqualifier for federal jobs or security clearance eligibility.

The impetus for this shift in policy is quite simple; federal agencies need to find and attract younger people with the skills and talent needed to fill critical intelligence positions. Many applicants are scared away from applying for a job that requires a security clearance because they think they will be denied eligibility for smoking a bunch of weed in college or early adulthood. The hope is that by making this change it will entice more applicants to apply for national security jobs. However, for those that want to continue with using cannabis products, take note of the key word in all policy guidance which is “past” use. For now, if a person wants to get a security clearance, they must cease all use. A proposed way to monitor if a clearance applicant or holder is a current user would be through drug testing and continuous monitoring.

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