According to a CNN report, several White House staffers had recently been asked to resign, work remotely, or were suspended after past marijuana use had been revealed in their background checks.
Sources familiar with the situation relayed the information to CNN.
The report revealed that five people are no longer employed at the White House, while additional staffers are working remotely. For some of the workers who are no longer employed, additional security factors were considered including some hard drug use, an official said.
The first to report on the terminations was the Daily Beast said CNN.
Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level which may cause problems during security clearances.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted this past Friday that the White House “worked with the security service to update the policies to ensure that past marijuana use wouldn’t automatically disqualify staff from serving in the White House.”
“As a result, more people will serve who would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use,” she added. “The bottom line is this: of the hundreds of people hired, only five people who had started working at the White House are no longer employed as a result of this policy.”
Psaki said to CNN, “While we will not get into individual cases, there were additional factors at play in many instances for the small number of individuals who were terminated.”
An official at the White House said the White House is granting waivers on a limited basis on the requirement that employees of the Executive Office of the President qualify for Top Secret clearance in order to employed at the White House.
Staffers must agree to stop using of marijuana, agree to a pledge to not use marijuana during government service, and undergo random drug tests in order to be granted an exception.
Such employees will work remotely until their past usage meets the standards set by the Personnel Security Division.
Other sources familiar with the situation had said that staffers were informed about these decisions over the course of the past month.