Although medical and recreational marijuana is becoming legal across the country, there is still a large group of people who still aren’t allowed to use the plant–federal workers–and the government is making it loud and clear that they want their employees to stay away from cannabis.
According to an article by The Huffington Post’s Matt Ferner, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Katherine Archuleta put out a “guidance” to heads of all federal departments and agencies stating “in no uncertain terms that marijuana use for the more than 4.1 million federal employees across the nation is banned.”
Archuleta explained in her letter that “federal law on marijuana remains unchanged,” and that “marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. Thus knowing or intentional marijuana possession is illegal, even if an individual has no intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana…Heads of agencies are expected to advise their workforce that legislative changes by some states and the District of Columbia do not alter Federal law, existing suitability criteria, or Executive Branch policies regarding marijuana.”
According to the HuffPost article, federal employees are also subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act guidelines, which bans the use of any illegal drugs, on and off duty. Archuleta’s letter warned that any federal employees who break federal marijuana laws could face “disciplinary actions.”