by Chris Bodenner
A reader can relate to these would-be hires:
I was rejected by the FBI because of pot! I applied to be a special agent shortly after 9/11. I had two major complaints about the process.
First, I had just finished two years of service in Morocco with the Peace Corps, and I thought I could leverage my language ability in Arabic. However, the only Arabic that they could test 0r give credit for was “FousHa”, or the educated version of Arabic that would be nearly unintelligible to uneducated Arabic speakers. No credit was available to speakers of dialects.
Second, they said I would have to make several certifications, including (if memory serves), “I have not used marijuana more than three times in the last five years,” and “I have not used marijuana more than 10 times in my life.” Since most of my marijuana experience was from a few trips to Amsterdam, I asked if it was relevant that I never smoked marijuana in violation of US law, or if I had never done so in violation of any law (I would have had to look a bit more carefully at Dutch law before certifying to that last one). Answer: Nope – look for another job.
I think the FBI recruiter said the marijuana policies were even more strict before Bill Clinton’s administration – the logic, perhaps, being that President Clinton wouldn’t want policies that would have excluded him. I left thinking, with all due respect to the FBI, that they didn’t have a clue of what they were recruiting for. The Arabic they were testing for would be useless to anyone trying to understand spoken Arabic in any country, and they were excluding otherwise qualified candidates on the basis of insignificant and lawful recreational pot use. So, no surprise here that they’re having trouble hiring hackers.