FBI director: Zero tolerance pot policy kills our ability to hire cyber war programmers

By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:18 EDT
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Office worker smoking water pipe in his office via Shutterstock.com
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FBI director James Comey said this week that the bureau may be forced to change its drug policy because the U.S. could not find enough programmers who did not use marijuana to fight cyber crime.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute’s annual conference on Monday that it was going to be difficult to fill the 2,000 new jobs that Congress had authorized this year.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey explained.

The FBI was in the process of “grappling with the question right now” of how to change the drug policy, Comey said. The current policy forbids hiring anyone who has used marijuana within a three year period.

Comey insisted that people should not let their pot use stop them from seeking a job at the agency after one attendee said that a friend had decided not to apply over the policy.

“He should go ahead and apply,” Comey advised.

Only a week earlier, the FBI director took a tougher stance while speaking about heroin at the National Summit on Illegal Drugs in Washington, D.C.

“It’s not an urban thing, it’s an urban-suburban thing,” he explained. “It’s a black and white thing. It’s a rich and poor thing. It’s an everywhere thing, and everybody thing.”

“And so I believe… that we have to have — we on the federal side — a whole of government approach. We got to figure out how can we support you,” Comey continued. “You can’t arrest your way out of this problem, but arresting — for us, focusing on the international trafficking organizations that are flooding the market — is a huge part of the answer.”

Watch the video below from MSNBC, broadcast April 16, 2014.

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[Office worker smoking water pipe in his office via Shutterstock.com]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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