It’s a strange sort of hypocrisy where a politician is loose and libertarian from the debate lectern, but a quiet moralist behind closed doors.
President Joe Biden has said he wants to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize possessing it. But when it came to his own staff, smoking marijuana in the past — even in places like Washington state or Washington, D.C., where the substance is legal — would put their job with the Biden administration in jeopardy.
As the Daily Beast reported last month, dozens of Biden staffers were suspended, relocated or forced to resign after admitting on a job questionnaire to using cannabis in the past.
Though Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said there were “additional factors at play” for the five employees who were actually terminated, it underscored the problem.
In many states, cannabis is a rare legal substance where even off-duty use is banned, and previous use can prevent your hiring.
While the Spokane Police Department doesn’t arrest people anymore for just smoking marijuana, it still doesn’t want active marijuana users on the force.
“It’s hiring standards,” says Spokane Police Department spokeswoman Julie Humphreys. “Anybody who has used or has been in possession of marijuana as an adult within one year prior to their application, they’d be automatically disqualified.”
Lie about it, and you better hope you can pass the polygraph if you want to get hired.
But maybe that’s to be expected — narcotics officers are known for being, well, narcs. But Washington state Rep. Shelley Kloba, D-Kirkland, says these sorts of restrictions are pervasive in other professions as well.
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