As more states move to legalize marijuana, the director of national intelligence (DNI) says federal employers shouldn’t outright reject security clearance applicants over past use and should use discretion when it comes to those with cannabis investments in their stock portfolios. DNI Avril Haines’s new memo—which follows up on past guidance that was approved under the Obama administration—says that while cannabis is being legalized in states across the country, its use by people in positions that require national security clearance remains an area of concern that should be accounted for in the application process. That said, the internal notice that was distributed to nearly 100 agencies late last month appears to give some additional leeway when it comes to prior marijuana use by applicants and employees. Haines wants federal agencies to remind civilian, military, and contractor personnel who are eligible for access to classified information or eligible to hold sensitive positions “of the importance of continued adherence to federal laws and policies” that currently prohibit cannabis. Illegal use of controlled substances, she wrote, “can raise security concerns about an individual’s reliability and trustworthiness to access classified information or to hold a sensitive position, as well as their ability or willingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations.” However, the document, which was first reported by ClearanceJobs on Monday, says that while federal law on marijuana and a person’s past use “remains relevant,” it is “not determinative” to decisions on “eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position.” That seems to be a notable policy development, as ClearanceJobs reported that there has generally been a one-to-two year abstinence requirement for prospective federal workers in need of security clearance at various agencies. The policy could be further amended in the future, Haines noted, if there’s a “change to federal law concerning marijuana use.”

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 01/10/2022 18:06:00

Open article: