In an effort to swell the ranks of Secret Service officers, the agency is relaxing its rules about cannabis use because too many potential recruits were being disqualified by the agency’s strict drug policy, according to a CNN report.
The announcement came from the agency’s new director Randolph Alles on Thursday, 38 days after Alles was appointed to the position.
Following the rule change, the Secret Service will no longer automatically disqualify somebody for having used cannabis a certain number of times in their life; instead, candidates who admit to marijuana use will be judged based on how much time passed between their last consumption and the time at which they apply for the agency.
The change should allow for a younger generation of applicants, recognizing that cannabis has become much more prevalent and mainstream in modern society.
“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Alles said while announcing his plan to swell the agency’s ranks by more than 3,000 in the coming years. “It’s more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past,” Alles said.
The shift also puts the Secret Service — who is charged with protecting the nation’s heads of state and all of their family members — more in line with other federal law enforcement agencies. In 2014, the FBI relaxed its hiring policies related to cannabis use because all of the top cybersecurity specialists of our time were being disqualified.