What is the Cannabis Users Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act?
Last month, bipartisan legislation was submitted in the House of Representatives that would prevent federal agencies from denying an applicant a job or security clearance based on their current or prior marijuana use. The bill would also give those previously denied jobs or a clearance a chance to appeal that decision. The main goal of the bill is to align federal policy with the majority of states who have legalized or decriminalized cannabis use in order to attract otherwise qualified job candidates to fill government positions.
This latest effort follows previous guidance provided by the current administration, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Office of Personnel Management to get federal agencies to apply the “whole person concept” in evaluating applicants and not automatically disqualify them based on prior marijuana use, even if it was recent. This follows another piece of legislation, the 2024 Intelligence Authorization Act, that just passed in the Senate which includes a provision which would prevent intelligence agencies from denying an applicant security clearance eligibility based solely on their marijuana use prior to submitting their SF-86.
This does not mean you can continue to use marijuana or cannabis by-products if you want to get hired on or get a security clearance. Federal law still considers marijuana as a Schedule I substance and in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace executive order, federal employees and contractors working on behalf of the federal government cannot use it whether on or off duty.