Tuesday, May 20, 2014

FBI Looking For A Few, Good (Albeit Stoned) Hackers

By David Downs
Tue, May 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM

There goes that stereotype.

The FBI is publicly softening its hiring stance with regard to marijuana use, in order to attract the nation's brightest, most talented computer programmers.

FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday that a talented hacker who also smoked pot should "go ahead and apply" for a job at the agency despite its longtime prohibition of marijuana use, the Wall Street Journal reports. Typically, the FBI's hiring policy disqualifies candidates who've smoked pot in the last three years.

Comey said that policy is under review, because “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.”

The FBI wants to hire an additional 2,000 employees for mostly cyber-crime work.

"A lot of the nation’s top computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana," the Journal notes.

There are roughly eighty pot shops in the San Jose area of Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley CEO Mark Johnson told Businessweek in 2013 that “[p]ot is an extremely functional drug. Coders can code on it, writers can write on it."

Pot is especially useful for the back aches and hand cramps that can come from several hours spent sitting and coding, said one pot shop owner in San Jose.

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