GOP Sen. Lankford demands Border Patrol reevaluate history of marijuana use for CBP recruits

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) wrote a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Sunday demanding that the federal agency reverse a marijuana policy for CBP recruits. 

Lankford asked CBP’s senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, Troy Miller, to “restore the two-year lookback on marijuana usage among Border Patrol recruits,” according to a letter obtained by Fox News. The policy currently has a 90-day lookback at marijuana use for recruits and prohibits applicants who have used drugs within that time frame. 

The Republican senator claimed in the letter that the policy change “undermines the security and integrity of the Border Patrol workforce and flatly contradicts Border Patrol’s mission to protect our nation against illegal drugs.” The policy change happened within the last few months, according to Lankford’s letter.  

Lankford said CBP blamed the two-year to 90-day policy on the differences in state and federal law regarding the legalization of marijuana. However, Lankford wrote that CBP’s policy change, among other modifications, was made to “incentivize additional recruits.” Because CBP is a federal agency, Lankford wrote it should comply with federal law.  

The Washington Examiner reached out to the CBP for comment. 

Recruits screened in a polygraph test for marijuana use tend to admit to other criminal conduct, CBP briefers told Lankford. 

“This situation directly contradicts Border Patrol’s mission and could create concerning security and integrity issues for agents,” Lankford wrote in the letter. “I ask that you rescind this policy and restore the two-year lookback on marijuana usage among Border Patrol recruits.” 


So far, 23 states have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use, including Washington, D.C., and two territories, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Lankford has a history of taking a strong stance against the drug. Last year, the senator led a bicameral letter asking the Biden administration to remove marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. He claimed that the marijuana market in his state of Oklahoma has brought crime, human trafficking, and money laundering.

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