Among the numerous amendments filed to the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which the Senate plans to take up soon, are dozens related to cannabis and psychedelics.
This summer, the House of Representatives approved several measures as part of the NDAA, including two psychedelics research amendments and another package of bills concerning banking and veterans' access, to name a few. As the Senate undertakes to review the amendments, two GOP senators are opposing the inclusion of cannabis language in the broader piece of legislation, reported Marijuana Moment.
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) are objecting to a measure from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), which seeks to ban the federal government from rejecting people's security clearances required for employment at intelligence agencies because of their prior cannabis use. After gaining approval from the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, the measure was attached to the broader intelligence legislation. However, the cannabis language was then dropped from the new intelligence act amendment to NDAA.
To counteract efforts to keep marijuana policy change off the table, Wyden introduced broader security clearance amendments last week.
"Some form of cannabis is legal in almost every state at this point, yet our federal laws are stuck in the era of 'reefer madness,'" Wyden told Marijuana Moment on Friday. "People seeking clearances to serve their country should not be disqualified for cannabis use. Our national security depends on the intelligence community's ability to recruit the best people for the job. I hope Senate Republicans will get out of the way and get on board so we can make these commonsense reforms."
What Do The New Amendments Say?
Aside from prohibiting "any Federal agency from denying or revoking an individual's eligibility for access to classified information solely because of past or present use of cannabis," a new push from Wyden is more precise on two accounts.
According to one of the senator's amendments, the "use of cannabis by an individual shall not be determinative to adjudications of the individual's eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position."
The other one, which Wyden is sponsoring with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), focuses on past cannabis use. The "use of cannabis by an individual that occurs prior to the individual's initiation of a national security vetting process shall not be determinative to adjudications of the individual's eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position," the measure says.
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