5 White House staffers lose jobs over drugs, marijuana use

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Five White House staffers have been fired because of their past use of drugs, including marijuana

Marijuana has become a delicate issue for President Joe Biden’s administration because 15 states and Washington, D.C., allow for recreational usage, despite a federal prohibition. The administration has tried not to automatically penalize potential staffers for legal behavior in their communities by developing a more flexible policy, Psaki said in a statement to The Associated Press.

“In an effort to ensure that more people have an opportunity to serve the public, we worked in coordination with the security service to ensure that more people have the opportunity to serve than would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use,” Psaki said. “While we will not get into individual cases, there were additional factors at play in many instances for the small number of individuals who were terminated.”

The Daily Beast website first reported the firings Thursday night.

The broader federal government has also become somewhat more lenient, with the Office of Personnel Management releasing a memo that says a person should not be deemed unfit merely because of past marijuana usage. The seriousness of the use and the nature of the position will also be factors in judging new hires.