FBI mulls making marijuana users into crack computer security squad

Filed Under: Featured, Law & order

Smoker. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.Job satisfaction, according to some, is the key to a successful career. And what could be more satisfying than smoking pot in the toilets at FBI headquarters?

Such a scenario may be a little far-fetched, but the feds want you to know that a liking for the wacky-baccy is no longer a big issue for agency recruiters.

Indeed, recent comments from Director James B. Comey may seem to suggest a remarkably chilled attitude to the prospect of second-hand therapeutic smoke wafting around bureau corridors.

The US Congress recently authorised the bureau to go out and hire an additional 2000 new staff, many of whom will be tasked with fighting cyber crime.

The FBI has a problem though – many of the best candidates for this type of role have a fondness for illicit herbs, Comey said – something that is currently a barrier to employment according to the bureau's own drug policy.

The policy clearly states that anyone who has used marijuana in the last three years (and, by golly, you better not have taken any anabolic steroids since 1991) should not apply for any position within the agency.

So now Comey and the FBI are grappling with the question of how to amend the drug policy to allow more ganja-loving hackers into the FBI's ranks.

Speaking to the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at Manhattan's New York City Bar Association, he told delegates:

I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.

When one attendee asked Comey about a friend who had chosen not to apply to the bureau because of the existing rules, and his likely failure of a drugs test, Comey said "he should go ahead and apply".

The current drug-free setup has already had a good week, following a coordinated series of global raids in which more than 100 people were arrested over the Blackshades Remote Access Trojan.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice announced that it had charged five Chinese military officers with cyber espionage.

Image of smoker courtesy of Shutterstock.

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10 Responses to FBI mulls making marijuana users into crack computer security squad

  1. David Pottage · 504 days ago

    Out of curiosity, what is Sophos corporate policy on employees or job applicants who smoke pot or suchlike in their spare time?

    • Andrew · 504 days ago

      interesting question and I would like to know the answer to that too.

    • Jack Wilborn · 504 days ago

      The last two paragraphs is rather unintelligible to me as I'm not sure as to it meaning that the current drug policy (no drugs) or the one you are commenting on???

      I am also curious of Sophos position? Many questions the aspects when it became known that the U.S. Department of Health and Welfare holds a medical patent on cannabinoids. While the other hand states there is no medical use???


  2. Andrew · 504 days ago

    funny how things change and marijuana is becoming accepted in our society

  3. "crack security squad."

    Gateway drug pun?

  4. foo · 504 days ago

    What next?

    FBI mulls making crack users into marijuana computer security squad

  5. This brings up a couple of interesting questions:

    Is the new policy lax about past pot use or current pot use?

    Are they good hackers who happen to smoke pot, or are they good hackers BECAUSE they smoke pot? If the latter, what if they insist the hacker stops smoking?

    How is this handled legally when marijuana is federally illegal? Does this bind the hacker to employment with a federal drug charge hanging over his head? The feds exploit sex and prostitution in the same way. "You work for us, or you go to prison."

    If you are a hacker, do not, under any circumstances, go to work for the feds. It's not in your best interest.

    • Working for the feds is better than being arrested for trying to hack into the government.

  6. Logy · 503 days ago

    Well someone posted this article prematurely...

  7. David · 498 days ago

    Makes no difference at all, nor should it!

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About the author

Lee Munson is the founder of Security FAQs, a social media manager with BH Consulting and a blogger with a huge passion for information security.