Washington, March 20 : Despite a less restrictive policy on marijuana under US President Joe Biden, five White House employees have lost their jobs due to past drug use, Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced.
“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 said in a tweet on Friday.
As a result, more people would be able to serve in the US administration who would not have in the past with the same level of recent drug use, dpa news agency quoted the Press Secretary as further saying.
“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,” she added.
Psaki linked her tweets to a report by NBC News late last month that the Biden government had relaxed regulations for employees with a view to recreational marijuana use.
A number of US states have legalised marijuana and others states are planning to decriminalise it.
At the federal level, however, marijuana is still illegal in the US.
During the election campaign, a Biden spokesman said he was in favour of the decriminalisation of marijuana and the automatic deletion of entries in the criminal record for possession of the drug.
Vice President Kamala Harris has also supported legalisation in her previous position as a US Senator.