The FBI’s Cyber War Problem: The Hackers They Want to Hire Love to Smoke Weed

Now the agency is grappling with their marijuana rules.

Photo Credit: Stokkete / Shutterstock.com

The Federal Bureau of Investigations needs to hire ‘cyber security specialists,’ (aka hackers) to keep up with the ever-shifting online world and battle the underhanded criminals of cyberspace. The problem is that the FBI doesn’t allow its employees to use cannabis—and that’s a deal breaker for most hackers.

In addition to the general illegality of cannabis under federal law, official agency policy requires FBI workers to have been completely weed-free for at least three years.

FBI director James Comey said in a Wall Street Journal blog post that  the “kids” he needs hire sometimes, “want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.” According to WSJ, Comey said the agency is trying to figure out how to amend its marijuana policy.

Comey also said in the WSJ article that if, for instance, a cannabis-using friend wanted to apply to the FBI, “He should go ahead and apply.”

Comey’s WSJ comments arrive just as the US is placing criminal charges on five Chinese military officials accused of government-led cyber hacking. The officials allegedly intended to steal trade secrets from six major US companies.

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April M. Short is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness and social justice. She previously worked as AlterNet's drugs and health editor.