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Investing in cannabis companies can threaten federal employees’ security clearances

Elon Musk’s clearance was reportedly under review after he smoked marijuana — but even owning shares in marijuana-related companies can cause problems

Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is reportedly having his security clearance reviewed after smoking marijuana during a recent podcast, but he’s far from the only person whose government security clearance is threatened by a cannabis connection.

Federal employees and contractors who simply own stocks in cannabis-related companies could have problems maintaining the security clearance required to do their jobs, experts told MarketWatch.

In one case, a Department of Defense employee who listed his marijuana-related investments on a financial disclosure form during an annual security clearance check-up was told to get rid of the shares, said Timothy Maimone, a union officer with American Federation of Government Employees Council 170.

“They basically wrote him a letter saying you’re violating the public trust by owning stock in this marijuana company,” Maimone told MarketWatch. “They gave him 30 days to fix the problem or we’ll pull your clearance.” The employee sold the shares and kept his clearance.

Using marijuana — which is illegal under federal law but legal in several states — is definitely a no-no under security clearance guidelines , which prohibit the unlawful use of controlled substances. [Read More @ Morningstar]

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