Smoking marijuana has always been a big no-no to those interested in serving in the Armed Forces.
The US Army recently started giving waivers to those applicants who used marijuana in the past and don’t intend to use it again while serving in the forces.
Given that 29 states and DC have recognized marijuana as a medical necessity, this move by the Army was long overdue.
“Provided they understand that they cannot do that when they serve in the military, I will waive that all day long,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow.
These exclusions represent about 1/4 of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year which ended on September 30.
They accounted for much of the 50% increase overall in recruits who needed a waiver for some type of misconduct.
General Snow said the figures probably will rise further as more states legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
Army leaders have faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks about a decline in quality among new enlistees.
The Army’s top officer, Gen. Mark Milley, told reporters that the Army is not reducing standards.
“Quality matters more than quantity. If you make the numbers, great, awesome. But do not break the standards,” Milley said.
In the current fiscal year, the Army must recruit 80,000 new men and women, and that is going to become increasingly more difficult to do if the Army keeps excluding previous cannabis users.
As a matter of fact, the more states legalize marijuana the harder it is going to get for recruiters to land that “perfect soldier”.
The US Army is just the first in the line of Armed Forces which should find a way to accommodate people that smoked marijuana in the past.
One thing is certain: with the legalization of marijuana around the globe, lots of rules will have to change in order to work things out for everyone.