A number of White House staffers were reportedly suspended or let go from their jobs over past use of marijuana products, even though recent White House policies were updated that protected employees from automatically being fired for previous use of the drug.
According to Fox News, Vice President Kamala Harris is under fire for the round of firings given her past and very public support for legal, recreational marijuana usage, including previous statements admitting that she has used the drug.
Psaki defends firings
Though a growing number of states permit the recreational use of using marijuana, the drug still remains illegal at the federal level.
In a series of tweets on Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed the terminations of at least five White House staffers who were presumably under the impression that they weren’t at risk of losing their jobs because of a recent update in federal policy.
“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.
She added that because of that policy, more people will be able to serve in the White House who otherwise wouldn’t have based on past policies. She went on to defend the firing of the five staffers, claiming that it was only a small number of people who were affected.
“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,” Psaki tweeted.
Harris’ marijuana use
It wasn’t long ago that then-senator Harris made clear her support for legalizing marijuana on a federal level. She released a video tweet in 2018 supporting fellow Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) Marijuana Justice Act.
Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do. Today, I’m announcing my support for @CoryBooker’s Marijuana Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/cOh3SjMaOW
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 10, 2018
As a presidential candidate in 2019, Harris doubled down on her pro-pot stance, going as far as admitting during a radio interview hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God that she smoked marijuana while a student in college.
“I have [smoked marijuana]. And I inhaled. I did inhale,” Harris said at the time, according to Fox News. “I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.”
Only time will tell if Democrats are ever able to take the issue all the way to President Joe Biden’s desk and federally legalize marijuana, but it looks like it’s too late for the five White House staffers who just lost their jobs over the matter.