Dozens of White House staffers have been asked to resign for admitting to past marijuana use, regardless of whether those employees had been located in states where it was legal at the time.
The Biden administration had asked workers to disclose past marijuana use as part of a lengthy background check, but told some of them that they would “overlook” those who answered yes, The Daily Beast reported.
However, White House director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic reportedly called several staffers this month to inform them that because they admitted to past cannabis use, they would have to resign or be placed in a remote work program.
“It’s exclusively targeting younger staff and staff who came from states where it was legal,” one former staffer told the Beast.
The move comes after the administration officially updated its guidelines last month to allow for “limited” use of cannabis in the past, explaining that it did not want it to be a barrier to good candidates working for the administration.
Although 14 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized recreational use of the drug, marijuana possession still remains illegal on the federal level – making it difficult for staffers trying to get security clearances if they’ve used the drug before.
“The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained,” one ex-staffer told the outlet.
Under new guidelines introduced by the Biden administration, White House staffers have been asked to cease all marijuana use and are subject to random drug tests.