Diverse White House staffers were asked to resign, were suspended or are remotely working after revealing past marijuana use during their background checks, sources familiar with the situation told CNN.
Five staff members are no longer employed at the White House, whereas additional staffers are working remotely. In a large number of cases involving the staff members who are no longer employed, additional security factors were in play, including for some hard drug use, the official said.
The use of marijuana is illegal on the federal level although it has been legalized in many states. The White House underscored on Friday that it has eased some restrictions in its security clearance policy to be more lenient about employing individuals with a history of drug use.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary tweeted on Friday that the White House “worked with the security service to update the policies to ensure that past marijuana use wouldn’t automatically disqualify staff from serving in the White House.”
“As a result, more people will serve who would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use,” she added. “The bottom line is this: of the hundreds of people hired, only five people who had started working at the White House are no longer employed as a result of this policy.”