FBI Mellows Out on Drug Standards

Holistic approach to applicants gives casual users a break
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 7, 2007 6:09 PM CDT
FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C. As baby-boomers retire, the FBI faces a personnel crisis that might require a bit of flexibility in their hiring practices.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – The FBI no longer disqualifies applicants who admit to past drug use, the Washington Post reports. The agency previously turned away wannabes who acknowledged smoking marijuana more than 15 times, but times have changed. Potential employees must still swear they have not partaken in recent years, and the FBI's policy is still tougher than the CIA's—and even the DEA's.

Realizing it was barring qualified applicants for drug use decades ago, the bureau this year quietly began emphasizing "a whole-person approach." "The new policy just allows us a little more flexibility than the old policy," says a security division bigwig. "Someone who was actually an addict is probably not going to satisfy our needs."