In this day and age, the bank robbers and thieves of the past have been replaced with cyber criminals and hackers. To keep up with the times and combat these criminals, the government must employ talented hackers and programmers for their cyber security forces. However, the FBI has encountered an unprecedented problem while hiring these crime fighters: some of the nation’s top computer programmers and hackers also love marijuana.
According to the Wall Street Journal, FBI Director James B. Comey said that if the FBI hopes to keep up with these cyber criminals, they “may have to loosen up its no-tolerance policy for hiring those who like to smoke marijuana.”
“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said at the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference at the New York City Bar Association.
Comey went on to say that the agency was “grappling with the question right now” of how the agency can reconcile its marijuana policy, which excludes anyone who has smoked marijuana in the previous three years from employment, with the trend.
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A conference-goer told Comey about a friend who did not apply due to the policy. “He should go ahead and apply,” in spite of the marijuana use, Comey said.
Earlier this year, federal officials admitted that the government's current hiring practices may be working against them.
“[We have] the government hiring practices of the 1940s and ‘50s in the 21st century,” said Gregory Wilshusen, director of information security issues at the General Accountability Office.
According to InformationWeek.com, the reason the government struggles to find good candidates for cyber security is because a lot of them just don’t fit the profile the agencies looking for.
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“They may be college dropouts, or they may have gotten in trouble in the past for hacking exploits," the website stated, "which often disqualifies them from consideration, even though they might have the ideal experience for certain jobs.”
Time will tell how the FBI chooses to deal with this new predicament.