White House Staffers Say Biden Administration Is Dismissing Dozens Over Cannabis Use Despite Promises That It Wouldn't Do That

Illustration for article titled White House Staffers Say Biden Administration Is Dismissing Dozens Over Cannabis Use Despite Promises That It Wouldn't Do That
Photo: OpenRangeStock (Shutterstock)

Dammit, President Joe Biden, we thought you were cool. (I’m joking; nobody ever thought that.)

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Apparently, dozens of White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program all because they at least occasionally partake in the consumption of what has in recent years become known as the sticky-icky—or as the great under-the-influence philosopher and aficionado of the chronic, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., called it, the sticky-icky *checks notes* icky-icky-icky ooh wee.

Sources told The Daily Beast that, despite their understanding that the Biden administration would ease up on restrictions that made recreational cannabis use an automatic disqualification for anyone wishing to work in the White House, staffers and would-be staffers have been punished over their recent marijuana use.

From the Daily Beast:

In some cases, staffers were informally told by transition higher-ups ahead of formally joining the administration that they would likely overlook some past marijuana use, only to be asked later to resign.

“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.”

“Nothing was ever explained” on the calls, they added, which were led by White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic. “The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained.”

So, first of all: Biden, if you don’t want me working at the White House, just say so.

Secondly, ain’t weed legal in D.C.? (The answer to that one is yes, yes it is. And according to the unnamed sources, the dismissals and suspensions have also affected staffers whose cannabis use only occurred in the 14 states where it is also legal recreationally.)

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Third: Seriously, how did literally anyone get through 2020 without consistently being high AF? And as the nation makes the transition from the leaky septic tank of white supremacy that was the Trump administration to the Biden administration, wouldn’t it be understandable that staffers who are working through that transition might need to blaze one for America once in a while. Where the hell is your patriotism, Mr. President?

Also, with all the weird-ass problematic shit that the grandmaster gaffe king who is now our president stays saying, one would think he’d prefer a perpetually smoked out America for at least the next four years because—who TF wants to sit through this administration sober? (It’s possible I’m projecting a little. I skipped my breakfast blunt this morning.)

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Anyway, in response to The Daily Beast report, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted a statement Friday accompanied by a link to an NBC News report on how marijuana use won’t automatically disqualify people from working on the Biden White House staff. In her tweet, Psaki appeared to deny that dozens of staffers were dismissed over cannabis use.

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“We announced a few weeks ago that the White House had 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,” Psaki wrote. “As a result, more people will serve who would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use. 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.”

Still, one staffer told The Daily Beast that Biden’s White House is “exclusively targeting younger staff and staff who came from states where it was legal.”

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The thing is, a lot of people have always been weird about weed smokers when it comes to the workplace. I can’t tell you how many debates I’ve been in with people who argued that weed should remain illegal because they would never want their doctor or a pilot of a plane they were on to be smoking on the job. It’s like they think every weed smoker has decided to Cheech & Chong their way through life 24 hours a day—a thing no one seems to think of drinkers despite the prohibition era ending in the early 1930s.

Just let smokers smoke, man. It’s 2021 for fuck’s sake.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

dammitspaz
fair_n_hite_451

There is a huge gulf of difference between “I smoke weed and have a job” vs. “I smoke weed ON the job”.

I would think that if you are someone who plays the political game enough to want to work at the White House, you know the difference between the 2, and aren’t blazing up in the back stairwell of the West Wing.

The admin department heads need to relax some. And I know just the way...