The FBI has received congressional authorization to add 2,000 personnel to the ranks of the bureau- many who will be used to combat cyber- crimes. A problem has emerged in the sense that a great number of the finest computer programmers and hacking experts like to smoke marijuana, and the FBI has a policy against hiring anyone who has ingested weed within the past 3 years. While appearing at a conference, the Director of the FBI, James Comey was talking about loosening up the bureau’s no-tolerance policy when it comes to the use of weed. When asked a question by a member of a conference audience about a friend who had balked at applying to the FBI for a computer position because of his marijuana use, the Director said “He should go ahead and apply” despite the marijuana use. He had also said it was difficult to hire such people who probably used marijuana on the way to the interview. At a later Senate Committee Hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R. Ala, suggested that Comey was “Dismissing the seriousness of marijuana use.” The Director assured him that he was just having some fun and that he was strongly against marijuana use because it was against the law. He did make it clear that some policies may need to be changed. The Senator went on to cite a parade of horrors that exists because of marijuana use.
COMMENT: Senator Sessions needs to lighten up (or light up). It is refreshing to hear the Director of the FBI use a little jest and humor from time-to-time- especially during a time in our history where there is so much violence. Also, the Senator must be aware of the ever-increasing percentage of Americans who support legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes (A CBS News Poll says 51%). But the real point is not whether one supports the use or not, rather it is the lack of humor, and how petty some politicians are. And by the way, Senator, if battling computer-related crimes is important to you (and your constituents), the government needs these new recruits, baggies and all.