White House Intern Applicants Will Be Asked About Marijuana, Biden Administration Clarifies
Despite repeated calls to stop penalizing staffers for being honest about past marijuana use, the Biden administration made clear on Monday that people who want to even intern at the White House will be required to disclose prior drug use—including any cannabis consumption that was legal under state law—and they could be denied eligibility over it. Intern applicants who advance through the hiring process will have to fill out a security clearance form, according to a new FAQ for the White House Internship Program. Information submitted through that form that “could affect eligibility” includes past drug use—”including marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana use was permitted under state law,” the FAQ, posted on the White House website this week, says. Early in his administration, the Biden White House came under sharp criticism over reports that staffers were being terminated or otherwise penalized for admitting to using marijuana as part of a background check process. The newly posted FAQ’s clarification on cannabis reaffirms that the White House under Biden continues to view prior marijuana use as grounds for ineligibility to work in the executive branch, even at the intern level. Marijuana Moment reached out to the White House for comment, but a representative did not immediately respond. President Joe Biden has long opposed the legalization of cannabis. Minutes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and colleagues unveiled a much-anticipated draft marijuana legalization bill last year, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the president hasn’t changed his position on maintaining federal prohibition. During his presidential campaign in 2020, Biden did run on a pledge to enact modest reforms such as decriminalizing cannabis possession, expunging prior records and respecting the rights of states to set their own laws. Since taking office, however, his administration has not made progress on any of…
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