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Last Word – We’re Raising a Generation Who Are Good at Avoiding a Drug Test

In case you needed more proof of how screwed up the federal marijuana laws are, The New York Times this week reported how college students who are being recruited for federal agencies are jumping through all sorts of hoops — like lying and stalling — to avoid failing a drug test.

And according to The Times, even the Director of the FBI is openly questioning the government’s drug policy.

Even the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, acknowledged last year that his agency’s rule could hurt recruitment, although no federal agency has yet offered specific numbers or other evidence that they are having trouble filling jobs. “I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” he said at a conference on white collar crime in May 2014. “

The newspaper rightly points out that “while marijuana may now be legal in Colorado, in Washington State and elsewhere, but federal laws outlawing its use — and rules that make it a fireable offense for government workers — have remained rigid. As a result, recruiters for federal agencies are arriving on university campuses in those states with the sobering message that marijuana use will not be tolerated.”

I continue to be amazed at the ongoing drumbeat on this issue. The conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws are growing and will only become a bigger problem as more states not only legalize marijuana, but follow Oregon (which fully legalizes marijuana on Wednesday, July 1) and makes recreational/adult use cannabis legal, too.

And as The New York Times‘ story notes, we’re encouraging young adults who want to work for the federal government to lie during the hiring process to cover their marijuana use given that cannabis just happens to be legal in Washington, D.C. The newspaper points out that:

One recent federal hire with a security clearance said he and many of his friends believed that the government was basically asking them to lie when applying for jobs. The hire, a university graduate from a Western state with liberal marijuana laws, was adamant that neither his name nor the agency where he was about to start working appear in print.

Another State Department official, who joined the diplomatic corps a few years ago, said he had decided to grow a few marijuana plants in his backyard. He had tried to grow his own in college, but his landlord spotted the plants and quickly halted the project, saying it was illegal.

Now, the official owns his home here in Washington, where it is legal to grow up to six plants, though only three can be mature at any given time. If discovered, he said, he would claim that the plants belonged to his wife, who does not work for the government.”

This all makes me wonder what is worse — lying or using cannabis legally in the state or municipality where you live? If I’m hiring, I’d rather have someone honestly tell me about their legal marijuana use than force them to have to lie to get a job.

And so it goes with the Alice In Wonderland-style drug laws we have in the country. You truly go down the rabbit hole if you’re trying to balance what the states are doing versus what the feds tell you is legal.

Lying or legally smoking pot? The federal government shouldn’t be putting people in a position to have to choose.

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