This is part of an effort to attract the best hackers and computer programmers to help investigate and fight cyber crime. Congress has approved the FBI to hire 2,000 new personnel this year; hundreds of which, according to NPR, will be dedicated to fighting cyber crime. Only problem? Too many of them smoke pot, according to Comey.
“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,” Comey said, according to the Wall Street Journal’s LawBlog.
Of course, even relatively lax employers would likely prefer to hire someone who’d smoke after the interview rather than on their way to it—but Comey’s point is well taken. The FBI’s current policy is comically stringent: Applicants for jobs are not permitted to have smoked marijuana within the past three years, according to FBI.gov.
The official transcript of Comey’s speech is available on the FBI’s website and does not include the quote reported by WSJ. In an email with the Daily Dot, an FBI spokesperson was “not able to confirm if the attributed remarks are accurate.”
One audience member reportedly asked Comey about a friend who had declined to apply for a job at the FBI because of the policy, reports the WSJ. “He should go ahead and apply” anyway, Comey said.
Comey also read a haiku he’d written about Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who leads the prosecution of high-profile cyber-crime cases including that of alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht:
Thought I was good but
Preet made the cover of Time
What is life?
You know, that sounds exactly like something someone would write… on weed.
Illustration by Jason Reed