up in smoke
President Biden's White House is drawing heavy criticism after reportedly sidelining staffers over their past marijuana use.
"Dozens" of White House staffers have either been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program because of their past use of marijuana, The Daily Beast reports. Some staffers were reportedly informally told that Biden's administration was expected to overlook some past marijuana use, but they were later asked to resign.
This has reportedly occurred even in cases where the staffers only used marijuana in states where cannabis is legal. The Daily Beast's report acknowledges that in some cases, staffers being sidelined "could have potentially been a result of inconsistencies that came up during the background-check process," including regarding when they last used marijuana, but it adds this would still mean they were being punished for "violating thresholds of past cannabis use that would-be staffers didn't know about."
A White House spokesperson disputed the number of people that had been affected to The Daily Beast, adding it will "ensure that talented and otherwise well-qualified applicants with limited marijuana use will not be barred from serving the American people."
The report quickly sparked criticism, with The Atlantic's Derek Thompson writing it's "incredibly stupid for many reasons," among them being "that cannabis is legal is Washington, DC," while Bloomberg's Steven Dennis simply wondered if this means a "young Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or JFK [would] have been excluded from this White House." It also drew criticism from Sarah J. Galvez, who formerly served as director of social media for Biden.
"I really love my former team, but this is absolute bulls--- and archaic," Galvez wrote. "People legit moved from from spots where it's legalized — turning down various other job opportunities — only to have their jobs yanked from them."
In another tweet, Galvez said "multiple" people have been "texting me because they all lost their jobs."