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FBI Warns That CBD Use May Disqualify Employment Eligibility

Ed Knight

By Ed Knight

August 29, 2022

Close view of young guy lighting a joint, wearing grey shirt and glasses, smoking on the fresh air , a lot of smoke on the picture, holding a yellow lighter in hand

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If you want to work for the FBI, it is probably best to steer clear of

The federal law enforcement agency

prospective job candidates last week that use of both cannabis and CBD products is enough to get an application yanked off the pile. 

“Although the use of marijuana & CBD may be legal at the state level, their use is an automatic disqualifier for FBI employees and contractors,” read a post from the FBI Denver’s official Twitter account on Thursday. “You must wait for at least one year from your last use of CBD or marijuana before applying to the FBI.”

The warning did not represent a shift in policy for the FBI.

, job candidates “cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) within the one (1) year preceding the date of their application for employment.”

Marijuana use “before the candidate’s 18th birthday is not a disqualifier for FBI employment, however; adjudicative personnel will evaluate the candidate by using the ‘wholeperson concept,’” the agency said.

The one-year wait period did, however, mark a change in policy last year. Previously, the FBI said that job candidates “cannot have used marijuana within the three (3) years preceding the date of their application for employment, regardless of the location of use (even if marijuana usage is legal in the candidate’s home state).”

when the agency reduced the wait period to one year.

The three-year wait requirement had become the subject of scrutiny over the last decade, with even FBI brass lamenting that it likely cost the bureau qualified candidates.

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FBI Pivots on CBD After Past Statements Around Cannabis Use

In 2014,

would-be applicants to throw their hat in the ring, even if they dabbled with a toke or two. 

The FBI

in its most up-to-date employment eligibility primer that “Dronabinol (sold as Marinol, Syndros, or generic equivalents) is the only pharmaceutical drug containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that the FDA has approved for lawful use with a medical

Prescription,” and that candidates “cannot present ‘medical marijuana cards’ or other prescriptions as mitigating factors for marijuana or cannabis use.”

When it comes to harder drugs, the FBI takes an even harder line.

“Candidates cannot have used any illegal drug, other than marijuana, within the ten (10) years preceding the date of the application for employment. Additionally, candidates cannot have

sold, distributed, manufactured, or transported any illegal drug or controlled substance without legal authorization,” the primer says.

The rules are a reminder of how so many entities have been forced to adapt to a new, more weed-friendly climate in the United States. Those shifting attitudes and local laws have posed a particular challenge to government and law enforcement agencies, which have historically had strict prohibitions on drug use. 

“The FBI is firmly committed to a drug-free workplace. Interested applicants who are currently

using illegal drugs, misusing or abusing legal drugs or other substances for illicit purposes at the time of the application process will be found unsuitable for employment,” the primer says. “The FBI balances the needs of the organization and the importance of keeping the public integrity necessary to accomplish its law enforcement and intelligence missions by hiring the most qualified candidates. The guidelines are used by all entities in the hiring process to help determine whether an applicant’s prior drug use makes them eligible and/or suitable for FBI employment.”

And if you do have a checkered past, the feds will likely find out, as all “FBI employees must undergo an FBI background investigation to receive an FBI Top Secret security clearance.”

Ed Knight

About The Author

Ed Knight

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.

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