Newly-appointed Secret Service director Randolph Alles announced plans to relax the agency's drug policy for potential hires, according to CNN. The proposal was part of Alles goal to grow the Secret Service in the coming years.
In his first press briefing on Thursday, Alles described a force of "very dedicated" agents facing insurmountable pressure to provide around-the-clock protection.
The easing of the drug policy, which formally went into affect last month, hopes to attract younger recruits to the hiring process. The new marijuana policy will no longer disqualify potential hires from the application process if he or she had experimented with the recreational drug in the past. The new "whole-person concept" takes into consideration, rather, how long it has been since a possible hire used the drug.
"We need more people. The mission has changed," Alles said, citing post-9/11 terrorist threats. "It's more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past," Alles continued.
Overall, the relaxing of the Secret Service marijuana policy is a sign that the government recognizes a shift in attitudes toward the recreational drug, particularly as more states legalize it.
But despite the change, other parts of the application project remain strict. A polygraph test is required, and credit and vision checks are crucial in the hiring process.
Alles said Donald Trump's presidency has brought upon additional challenges for the Secret Service because his family is so large. Many agents have to work overtime to provide 24/7 protection for the president's family and properties he could be using even if no one is inside.
"I think between that and the fact that he has a larger family, that's just more stress on the organization. We recognize that," Alles added.
WATCH | Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin admitted this week that medical marijuana could help veterans. More veterans groups and lawmakers are putting pressure on the government to soften federal marijuana policies to allow more research and more treatment options for veterans.