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Monday, February 6, 2023

Senate committee passes amendment to loosen restrictions on applicants with a history of cannabis

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The Senate Intelligence Committee Selection The Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for fiscal year 2023 (FY23) was passed on June 22 that will prevent government intelligence agencies (such as the CIA, NSA, and others) from discriminating against job applicants because of past cannabis use.

Senator Ron Wyden is a prominent member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which has also passed protections for whistleblowers and bolstered cybersecurity efforts. “This bipartisan legislation takes meaningful steps to improve the treatment of whistleblowers and ensure that Congress can perform real oversight of intelligence agencies,” Wyden said in a press release. “I applaud the committee for inclusion of my provisions, in particular the amendment ensuring that past cannabis use will not deprive applicants from the intelligence community of serving their country. It is a logical change to ensure IC [Intelligence Committee] The most capable people possible can be recruited.”

The press release describes the exact ruling regarding cannabis. “Prohibit the denial of security clearance for ICC personnel based solely on prior use of cannabis. Senator Wyden will continue to fight to ensure that continued cannabis use is not grounds for denial or loss of permit.” States.

Wyden Subscribed to Twitter Senator Martin Heinrich and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have been strong proponents of the amendment. “Thank you so much Tweet embed And the Tweet embed For their support of this common sense judgment, which will ensure that the intelligence community continues to recruit the most capable people possible.”

The 16-member full committee voted unanimously to approve the amendment, however, it would require continued support from the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the signature of President Joe Biden, before it becomes official law. according to The Wall Street JournalThe modification has not yet been published.

in July 2021The FBI has updated its recruitment guidelines to open the pool of applicants as well. “Candidates cannot use marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and anywhere (domestic or foreign) within one (1) year preceding the date of the employment application,” the updated website stated. It also states that any consumption of cannabis before the age of 18 will not disqualify an applicant.

Previously, the wording suggested that applicants Cannabis cannot be used within three years “Regardless of the location of use (even if marijuana use is legal in the candidate’s home state).”

in December 2021Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines provided some guidance on the topic of cannabis consumption in a memo. “…the illegal use or misuse of controlled substances can raise security concerns about an individual’s reliability and reliability to access confidential information or to hold a sensitive position, as well as their ability or willingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations,” the memo stated.

Due to the illegal federal status of cannabis, applicants for clearance applications are still advised to refrain from consuming cannabis. “…in light of federal law and long-established federal policy prohibiting the illegal use of drugs while holding a sensitive position or obtaining a security clearance, agencies are encouraged to advise prospective national security workforce personnel that they should abstain from any marijuana use in The future when initiating the national security screening process, which begins once the individual signs the certification contained in Standard Form 86 (SF-86), Questionnaire for National Security Positions.”

The memorandum also provided clarification on the investment of cannabis-related companies. Employees with access to confidential information and those in sensitive positions may be adversely affected if that individual knowingly and directly invested in stocks or businesses specifically related to marijuana growers and retailers while the cultivation and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under a controlled substance. ,” The note explained. However, if an employee does not intentionally invest in a cannabis-related endeavor, they will not be held liable.


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