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House Bill To Remove Marijuana As Barrier To Federal Employment Or Security Clearances Has Moot Provisions, Congressional Budget Office Says

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting that a bill to protect people from being denied federal jobs or security clearances over past marijuana use would have “negligible” costs for the government—in large part because analysts say provisions on reviewing past denials likely can’t be carried out under current federal record-keeping policies.

The bipartisan legislation from Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) cleared the House Oversight and Accountability Committee in scaled-back form in September.

In general, the amended Cannabis Users’ Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act would prevent security clearance and federal employment denials over a person’s past cannabis use. As introduced, it would have applied to current marijuana use as well, though those provisions were removed in committee.

CBO’s analysis largely focused on provisions in the bill that would require agencies, within one year of enactment, to create a process to review each past decision to deny security clearances or job opportunities over cannabis use going back to January 1, 2008.

Current law makes it so “records of personnel eligibility and security clearance determinations are designated as temporary records and can be destroyed after a short period,” it said.

“The General Records Schedule directs that

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