Biden fires staffers over marijuana
Biden fires staffers over marijuana

President Biden is Firing Staffers Who Admitted They Smoked Weed in the Past, But What About VP Kamala Harris?

Why is the president firing staffers who used cannabis before when his own VP Kamala Harris smoked pot?

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Tuesday Mar 23, 2021

White House Punishes Staff for Previous Cannabis Use

BIden fires staff over marijuana use

A CNN report reveals that numerous people working at the White House were asked to resign, undergo suspension, or work remotely after they disclosed they used cannabis in the past during a background check.


So if you’re wondering where Biden’s true stance is when it comes to cannabis, this might just be our answer.


There are 5 people who are no longer working at the White House, says the CNN report, and others are working remotely. Another Daily Beast report said that the staff were told that previous cannabis use was going to be overlooked but in some cases, this only applied to one of the states which already sold legal products. “There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers – rather, ex-staffers. I was asked to resign…. The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was explained,” says one of the former White House staff to Daily Beast.

What makes things worse is that a White House rep of the Biden administration was trying to evade discussing the topic during an interview with the Daily Beast, explaining that the team is “committed to bringing the best people into government – especially the young people whose commitment to public service can deepen in these positions.”


“The White House’s policy will maintain the absolute highest standards for service in government that the president expects from his administration, while acknowledging the reality that state and local marijuana laws have changed significantly across the country in recent years,” they said. “This decision was made following intensive consultation with career security officials and will effectively protect our national security while modernizing policies to ensure that talented and otherwise well-qualified applicants with limited marijuana use will not be barred from serving the American people.”


The report adds that some of the staffers who were let go may have been inconsistent about their past cannabis use.


White House press secretary Jen Psaki reacted to the news story from the Daily Beast, and sent in a statement to them. “In an effort to ensure that more people have an opportunity to serve the public, we worked in coordination with the security service to ensure that more people have the opportunity to serve than would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use. While we will not get into individual cases, there were additional factors at play in many instances for the small number of individuals who were terminated,” Psaki writes.




Big Mistake


There’s no doubt that this move makes the Biden administration look really bad, especially considering that Biden included marijuana as part of his campaign promises.


The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) released a statement following these reports, stating that the decision had a big impact on young people who have been living at a time when state legal cannabis programs were already in place for much of their lives. Recreational cannabis is already legal in 14 states including the capital, while it’s legal medicinally in 47 other states.



“While we may not know all the details of these cases, this looks really bad for the White House,” says NCIA’s co-founder and CEO, Aaron Smith. “Punishing current and potential employees for past cannabis use, particularly under circumstances where it was protected by state laws, flies in the face of the administration’s purported emphasis on fairness and sensible cannabis policies, to say nothing of its very recent guidance to federal agencies in this area. At the very least, this sends the wrong message to federal personnel managers, as well as policymakers and employers across the country.”


Even Vice President Kamala Harris has already expressed her support publicly when it came to legalizing cannabis. She even sponsored the MORE Act during the last Congress, which aimed to remove cannabis among the list of controlled substances. “Three of the last five presidents – including the current president’s former boss – have admitted to consuming cannabis,” Smith adds. “The idea that past use would make a person unfit for service in the White House or ineligible for a security clearance is laughable.”


For the White House to treat cannabis consumption as an offense punishable by termination clearly does not make them relevant with public opinion. Just last November, Gallup released a new poll indicating that 68% of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, up from 66% the previous year. It is also the highest support ever recorded by Gallup.


Though consuming small amounts of cannabis for recreational use is a federal misdemeanor, which can become a felony, there was an opportunity right here and the administration completely missed out on it. But Psaki downplayed everything, releasing a tweet saying, “The bottom line is this: of the hundreds of people hired, only five people who had started working at the White House are no longer employed as a result of this policy.”


Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat who co-chaired the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, released a statement saying: “What’s happening now is a vivid illustration of unrealistic, unfair, and out of touch cannabis policies. There is confusion across the country because of out of date laws and the fact that the American public is not waiting for the federal government to get its act together.” He adds that he hopes the government will eventually find “a path that is fair and realistic.”


This year, as more states are considering cannabis policy reform and with the industry as well as millions of people around the country hoping for cannabis to be regulated at the federal level, we can only hope that this crime against cannabis users will be the worst that the Biden administration will ever do.



biden on firing staffers for weed





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