March 19, 2021

I don't like pot, never did. But to kick young people out of their jobs because of past use -- well, that's just crazy. Maybe Biden, like many people who have a family member who struggled with drug use, just has a zero-tolerance mentality. But cutting out talented and experienced young people for past pot use? That's like saying you won't hire anyone who drank under the age of 21. It's so universal as to be a meaningless distinction.

And I suspect at least some of the older staffers with bad knees or chronic insomnia will be hit by this stupid policy, too. What happens to Kamala Harris, who has openly admitted to smoking pot and takes a pro-legalization stance? Pot use is okay for the VP but not for low-level staffers? Via the Daily Beast:

Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The policy has even affected staffers whose marijuana use was exclusive to one of the 14 states—and the District of Columbia—where cannabis is legal. Sources familiar with the matter also said a number of young staffers were either put on probation or canned because they revealed past marijuana use in an official document they filled out as part of the lengthy background check for a position in the Biden White House.

In some cases, staffers were informally told by transition higher-ups ahead of formally joining the administration that they would likely overlook some past marijuana use, only to be asked later to resign.

“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers—rather, ex-staffers,” one former White House staffer affected by the policy told The Daily Beast. “I was asked to resign.”

The policies were never explained on the calls, their source said. "The threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained.”

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