Several White House staffers were asked to resign or got demoted for marijuana use in the past regardless of whether those employees had been in one of the 14 states where the drug is legal, according to The Daily Beast and confirmed by CNN. While marijuana use is legal in many states, it is still illegal on the federal level.
The Daily Beast reported that several staffers were informally told by transition officials that some past marijuana use would be overlooked, only to be told later that they were being asked to resign. White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic reportedly called up many of the workers and asked those who admitted to marijuana use to either resign or be placed in a remote work program.
“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers—rather, ex-staffers,” one former White House staffer affected by the policy told The Daily Beast. “I was asked to resign.”
Critics of these reported firings say it unfairly targets younger people and those who come from states where it’s legal.
Ben Rhodes, who served as national security adviser under President Barack Obama, reacted to the report by saying, “I have no idea if this is true, but I do know I served as a deputy national security advisor from 2009-2017 having acknowledged past marijuana use on my forms,” adding that it “would be wrong to punish people for something that is entirely normal and increasingly legal.”
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