White House discourages employees from marijuana investments, report says

The White House is warning that it might deny security clearance to employees who invest in marijuana companies, Politico reported.

The new employee conduct guideline, addressed in an internal executive branch presentation that was shared with Politico, follows last year’s firing of some employees who used marijuana.

“Eligibility may be negatively impacted if an individual knowingly and directly invests in stocks or business ventures that specifically pertain to marijuana growers and retailers,” according to the document cited by Politico.

“Decisions to willfully invest in such activity could reflect questionable judgment and an unwillingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations.”

The Biden administration’s stance toward marijuana has been frustrating to industry officials.

One flashpoint was the administration’s comment that “rules are the rules” when sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was excluded from the U.S. Olympic team for using marijuana.

But P0litico noted that the White House actually has had a “more forgiving posture” than its predecessors.

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For example, a presidential memo issued early in Biden’s administration says that previous marijuana use won’t automatically disqualify applicants for White House jobs.

And, as Politico pointed out, the guidance on stocks also could suggest that the Biden administration wants potential conflicts of interest to be eliminated in advance of marijuana being treated more as a normal rather than unlawful business.