The White House’s marijuana misstep? Dismissing staffers who admitted cannabis use – The Burlington RecordPosted by On


In a twist of fate and a moment more reminiscent of 1921 than 2021, the Daily Beast reported last week that five White House staffers were fired and dozens more suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program because of past cannabis use.

Staffers disclosed their prior use in an official questionnaire that was part of a vigorous background check. This included staffers whose use was limited to one of the 15 states and Washington D.C., where adult use is legal.

The White House previously said they would grant a waiver to applicants who used marijuana on a limited basis and who are in positions that do not require a security clearance. And, staffers would be required to stop using cannabis and agree to random drug testing.

Many of the affected staffers said they were told the administration would likely overlook some past use.

There is certainly good cause to weed out those with drug use problems that could impair their work or make them a security threat. However, this policy highlights the ways in which we disingenuously treat alcohol and cannabis use differently. American society openly celebrates and encourages the use of one drug and is slowly undoing the terrible impacts of demonizing another. Beer drinking was a significant feature of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony about his own life.

Alcohol consumption is acceptable not only on staff’s personal time, but I can safely say that it is consumed in the White House. While the White…

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In a twist of fate and a moment more reminiscent of 1921 than 2021, the Daily Beast reported last week that five White House staffers were fired and dozens more suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program because of past cannabis use.

Staffers disclosed their prior use in an official questionnaire that was part of a vigorous background check. This included staffers whose use was limited to one of the 15 states and Washington D.C., where adult use is legal.

The White House previously said they would grant a waiver to applicants who used marijuana on a limited basis and who are in positions that do not require a security clearance. And, staffers would be required to stop using cannabis and agree to random drug testing.

Many of the affected staffers said they were told the administration would likely overlook some past use.

There is certainly good cause to weed out those with drug use problems that could impair their work or make them a security threat. However, this policy highlights the ways in which we disingenuously treat alcohol and cannabis use differently. American society openly celebrates and encourages the use of one drug and is slowly undoing the terrible impacts of demonizing another. Beer drinking was a significant feature of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony about his own life.

Alcohol consumption is acceptable not only on staff’s personal time, but I can safely say that it is consumed in the White House. While the White…



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