The Biden administration hates weed so much that it will block people who have even invested in the cannabis industry from applying for certain jobs.
Last December, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines presented an internal executive branch memo offering further clarification on the administration's strict anti-weed policies. According to the new guidelines, anyone who has willingly invested their money into a cannabis business or stock can now be blocked from working any federal job that requires a security clearance.
“Eligibility may be negatively impacted if an individual knowingly and directly invests in stocks or business ventures that specifically pertain to marijuana growers and retailers,” the memo explains, according to POLITICO. “Decisions to willfully invest in such activity could reflect questionable judgment and an unwillingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations.”
Federal law prohibits American adult-use or medical cannabis businesses from trading on the US stock exchange, but Canadian weed businesses are legally able to do so. State-legal US weed businesses can trade on the Canadian stock market, though, and American hemp businesses can go public in either country. The feds have not clarified which of these specific investments would potentially make someone ineligible for a security clearance, however.
Although cannabis is still completely prohibited under federal law, it is perfectly legal to invest in publicly-traded cannabis stocks or mutual funds. It is also totally legal for businesses and private investors to put their money into weed business ventures. Major American alcohol and tobacco corporations have spent millions of dollars investing in Canadian pot businesses, without facing any repercussions from the US government.
Some investors have even put their money into the legal weed market without knowing that they were doing so. In 2019, pot-hating Republican politicians in Tennessee and Texas were shocked to discover that an investment firm had invested some of their state pension funds into a medical marijuana company. Pot stocks are a hot commodity right now, and many investment firms are now adding these high-performing options to standard mutual funds and other investment packages.
For this reason, the memo acknowledges that job applicants who made weed-related investments “through a diversified mutual fund that is publicly-traded on a US exchange” may have done so unwittingly. However, the feds have also made it abundantly clear that “NOT KNOWING IS NOT AN EXCUSE,” according to POLITICO.
The new employee conduct rules are not much of a surprise, given how out of date the Biden administration's cannabis policies are. All federal agencies already prohibit employees from using any form of cannabis, including federally-legal CBD oils or shampoos, and the feds will even strip benefits from veterans who get jobs in the pot industry. The White House actually promised to chill on its anti-weed hiring policies last year, but then made an abrupt about-face and fired several staffers who admitted to using weed in the past.
So far, the FBI seems to be the only federal agency that seems willing to adapt to modern times. The agency recently acknowledged that its cannabis policies were excluding many potential hires, and will now accept applications from former stoners – but only if they've gotten high fewer than 24 times since the age of 18.