FBI struggles to hire hackers who don’t smoke weed

Source: Snoop Dogg's Instagram accountThe FBI has a very clear policy about hiring people who have smoked pot. It won’t hire anyone who has used cannabis in the past three years.

With other illegal drugs (including anabolic steroids) the message is clear: it doesn’t want you to apply if you’ve used them in the past ten years.

But apparently this policy, which is detailed on the FBI Jobs website, is causing them a problem in the fight against cybercrime.

FBI drugs policy

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According to a Wall Street Journal report, FBI Director James B. Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute conference in New York City this week that the policy was preventing law enforcement from recruiting top computer whizz kids and hacking gurus into its ranks.

I know it’s hard to imagine, but a lot of those guys and gals – apparently – are also quite likely to have smoked pot in the last three years.

As FBI Director Comey put it:

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.

On the way to a job interview at the FBI they blaze up? That’s pretty brazen!

Comey explained that the agency was “grappling” with the issue in answer a question from a delegate whose “friend” had baulked at the idea of applying to the FBI because he was partial to the little of the ol’ Mary Jane and was concerned he would fail the drugs test.

Comey said that the questioner’s “friend” should not be put off considering a job with the agency:

He should go ahead and apply.

I wasn’t previously aware of the FBI’s attitude to marijuana use, but I guess if they are mulling being a little more flexible with their rules that means that Snoop Dogg’s prospects of ever getting a job at fighting cybercrime have just increased considerably.

Here’s a picture that the rapping celebrity (who sang the song “Smoke Weed Everyday”) posted on Instagram as he had a healthy breakfast during a visit to Australia earlier this year.

Snoop Dogg's breakfast

A Dogg’s breakfast I guess you could call it.

Let’s not forget Dogg (or is it Snoop Lion now?) has experience in the field having worked with Symantec on the hard-to-forget “Hack is Wack” campaign (one of the top five worst videos from anti-virus companies).

Older readers may remember that Symantec was an anti-virus company.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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