Five individuals are now not employed on the White House, whereas extra staffers are working remotely. In lots of the instances involving staffers who’re now not employed, extra safety components had been in play, together with for some laborious drug use, the official mentioned.
While marijuana use is authorized in lots of states, it’s nonetheless unlawful on the federal degree, which might current a hurdle within the federal safety clearance course of.
The White House underscored on Friday that it has eased some restrictions in its safety clearance coverage to be extra lenient about using people with a historical past of drug use.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Friday that the White House “labored with the safety service to replace the insurance policies to be certain that past marijuana use would not robotically disqualify workers from serving within the White House.”
“As a consequence, extra individuals will serve who wouldn’t have within the past with the identical degree of current drug use,” she added. “The backside line is that this: of the a whole lot of individuals employed, solely 5 individuals who had began working on the White House are now not employed because of this coverage.”
In a press release to CNN, Psaki mentioned: “While we is not going to get into particular person instances, there have been extra components at play in lots of cases for the small variety of people who had been terminated.”
The White House is granting waivers on a restricted foundation on the requirement that workers of the Executive Office of the President qualify for Top Secret clearance so as to employed on the White House, a White House official mentioned.
In order to be granted an exception, staffers should agree to cease utilizing of marijuana, agree to a pledge to not use marijuana throughout authorities service, and endure random drug assessments. These workers will work remotely till their past utilization meets the requirements set by the Personnel Security Division.
The official mentioned this was finished after an in depth evaluation and session with the Personnel Security Division. The official mentioned that the administration has been working because the transition to tackle points concerning occasional marijuana use within the safety clearance course of, which has disproportionately affected youthful workers.
The exemption shall be made obtainable to these people who’ve engaged in restricted marijuana use within the past 12 months and people who are in positions not requiring safety clearances, the official mentioned. Other components may even be thought of in granting the waiver.
Staffers had been knowledgeable of the choices over the course of the past month, two sources conversant in the scenario mentioned.
Staffers needing a safety clearance on the White House are required to fill out an in depth background test questionnaire, which incorporates questions on marijuana and different medicine. Applicants are asked to element the kind of medicine or managed substances they’ve used and the way frequent and up to date the use has been.
Two sources mentioned it was urged to some in the course of the presidential transition interval that earlier marijuana use won’t disqualify people from serving within the White House. One supply mentioned the marijuana coverage was not made clear to staffers earlier than filling out their questionnaires.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.
This story has been up to date with extra data.