By Richard Farrell
Bureau in Need of Programmers
Current FBI Policy holds that the Bureau stands for a drug free society and workplace. This means that anybody who has smoked pot in the past three years (or used any other illegal drug including anabolic steroids in the past ten) does not even make it to an interview. Self-acknowledged pot smokers like Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan or Francis Crick may not have been interested in working for the FBI; however, the FBI may well have wanted such employees had they realized the benefits.
James Comey is the Director of the FBI. In his private life, he is the father of five children, and a staunch Republican who contributed to John McCain’s and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns. This makes him an unlikely supporter of Obama’s famous remark that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol, but stranger things have happened.
After celebrating the FBI’s success with charging five Chinese officials with hacking – and laying charges against the developers of the hacking software too – James Comey went on to address the New York City Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Institute conference in Manhattan on May 19, 2014. As discussed in The Wall Street Journal, the gist of his address is that the Bureau needs hundreds more computer programmers and hacking gurus to keep up with cybercrime.
The problem he admits having difficulty with is that many of the bright computer kids he wants are into modern urban lifestyles that just happen to include recreational pot. “I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals,” James Comey told his audience, “and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.”
One conference attendee asked if his pothead friend should avoid asking for an interview. “He should go ahead and apply despite the marijuana use,” Comey said. It is clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is contending with a question that requires a fresh approach to Americans who enjoy their marijuana.
This is something of a watershed in American pot politics. J Edgar Hoover, one of James Comey’s predecessors, famously told the Sunday Star in 1937, “It should be determined, for instance, to what extent the recently widespread use of marijuana or American hashish has been responsible for the sex crime.” He also added, “The history of every offender should be delved into deeply, and reports made upon this angle … to work for federal legislation looking toward its control.”
To my way of thinking, Comey’s fresh approach disproves pot consumption scrambles brains, and reduces users to gibbering idiots, unless of course Comey has ulterior motives.