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Billy Dee, of Newport, Wash., exhales a cloud of marijuana smoke at the first day of Hempfest on Aug. 16, 2013, in Seattle. / Elaine Thompson, AP

FBI Director James Comey clarified Wednesday that he has no intention of changing the bureau's current marijuana policy, which bans employing anyone known to have used pot in the past three years.

During an FBI oversight hearing, Comey said he was trying to use humor on the subject of new hires.

"I am determined not to lose my sense of humor, but unfortunately there I was trying to be both serious and funny," Comey said. "I am absolutely dead-set against using marijuana. I don't want young people to use marijuana. It's against the law."

"We have a three-year ban on marijuana. I did not say that I am going to change that ban," he added.

Earlier, the FBI acknowledged the widening acceptance of marijuana as a challenge to the agency's recruitment efforts - particularly in attracting top computer programmers and hackers for its cybersecurity efforts.

"I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," Comey said during a conference Monday in New York City, reported TheWall Street Journal.

The FBI has the authority to hire 2,000 employees this year, many of them assigned to cybertasks, according to the Journal.

Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana, including two - Colorado and Washington - that have also legalized recreational marijuana.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow @JolieLeeDC on Twitter



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: FBI director clarifies 'funny' marijuana comments

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