Jen Psaki says 5 individuals are not employed for marijuana use
WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that five staff members stopped working for the President because of past marijuana use, although guidelines were updated that past use would not automatically exclude staff from White House service .
Psaki stated in a series of tweets Friday that the White House worked with security a few weeks ago to update the guidelines to ensure that past marijuana use did not automatically exclude employees from White House service.
Psaki said, “More people will serve in the past who have not had the same drug use recently” based on the updated guidelines before it was confirmed that a handful of people are no longer employed in the White House as a result of the guidelines.
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“The bottom line is that of the hundreds of employees, only five people who started in the White House are no longer employed because of these policies,” she wrote.
Psaki’s tweets followed a report by the Daily Beast that dozens of White House employees were suspended, asked to resign or put on a remote work program for their previous marijuana use.
NBC News reported last month that the White House updated the guidelines to waive the requirement on a case-by-case basis so that potential candidates in the president’s office could obtain “top secret” approval. Officials told NBC News that a waiver would only be granted to those who had “limited” marijuana use in the past and are in positions that ultimately do not require a safety clearance.
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The Daily Beast said sources familiar with the matter said that young workers have been paroled or fired for replacing earlier ones in an official document they completed as part of the lengthy background check for a post at the Biden White House Marijuana use revealed. Prior to joining the administration, some employees were informally told by transitional officials that they were likely to be overlooking past marijuana use, but were later asked to resign, the Daily Beast reported.
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