If you live in the District or one of the 23 states that have legalized marijuana, think twice before lighting a joint if you work for the federal government:
Pot is still illegal for you.
New guidance from the Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday is unambiguous and stern. Federal workforce rules remain unchanged for the roughly 4.1 million federal employees and military personnel across the U.S. The feds still consider marijuana an illegal drug, and possessing or using it is a crime.
“Heads of agencies are expected to advise their workforce that legislative changes by some states and the District of Columbia do not alter federal law, existing suitability criteria or Executive Branch policies regarding marijuana,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta wrote in a memo posted on the agency Web site.
The District and 23 states have authorized adult use of medical marijuana. Of those, four states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — and D.C. also allow recreational use.
Archuleta said these changes, a mix of ballot measures and laws passed by legislatures, have “raised questions” about whether federal employees in these areas are safe to smoke, although it is unclear what prompted her memorandum to executive departments and agencies now..