The FBI is considering changing its marijuana policy for new employees due to its struggles to find qualified candidates who haven’t smoked weed in the last three years.
According to the Wall Street Journal, FBI Director James B. Comey said at an annual conference last Monday that the agency will most likely have to loosen this restriction in order to recruit creative tech experts who best understand how to take down hackers.
The FBI plans to add 2,000 new agents this year, many of whom will be assigned to hunt cyber criminals.
Hackers and other tech-related criminals have become a top priority for the FBI, as five Chinese army officers were recently indicted for hacking into the computers of several US companies.
The FBI’s policy on marijuana, however, is eliminating the option to hire some of the most talented hackers available because many of them also really like to smoke.
I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.
The FBI is also more strict about marijuana and drug use than most other government agencies, WSJ reports.
The three year rule debuted in 2007 upon the abolition of its former marijuana policy, which stated that anyone who had smoked weed more than 15 times in his or her life couldn’t work for the agency.
FBI recruitment is also out of the question for anyone who has used any other illicit substances within the previous 10 years.
The Central Intelligence Agency, on the other hand, sets its limit at just 12 months prior to application in terms of when a potential hire could have last used drugs.
Comey said the agency is currently “grappling” with proposed solutions to make sure it attracts the most qualified applicants.
One attendee asked him about a friend who was about to apply but then found out the three year policy made him ineligible.
But Comey told him that “He should go ahead and apply,” even if he smokes.