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Clinton Staffers Suffer From Reagan-Era Drug Policy


March 1993

Staffing the Clinton Administration is being handicapped by Reagan-era zero tolerance drug policies that led to in-depth Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigations of even casual drug use and random urine screening for White House, State Department, and other staffers (Stephen Rodrick, "Joint Chiefs: Drugs and the Young Clintonite," The New Republic, 2/22/93, p. 16).

Honest disclosures of occasional drug use have led to job denials in otherwise qualified applicants, although Clinton is "the first president from a generation where a zero tolerance drug policy [for past drug use] would be ludicrous," observed New Republic writer Stephen Rodrick.

Although applicants may refuse to answer questions about drug use, the government is entitled to refuse to hire them if they do. As of February, exactly how the Clinton administration would enforce drug use policy for staffers remained unclear, but an improvement over Reagan-era policy seemed unlikely, according to Rodrick.