Air Force Allows New Recruits Who Tested Positive For THC
The Air Force has recently followed the Army and Navy’s precedent and created a pilot waiver program for recruits who originally tested positive for THC. This program and other similar came as a response to the increasing number of states which allow medical and recreational marijuana.
This waiver program has been adopted by the Air Force, Space Force, Army and Navy. It allows recruits who originally tested positive for marijuana to retest after 90 days. The Air Force Recruiting Service granted waivers to 43 applicants during the first months of the program, between September 30th and December 31, 2022. Chrissy Catitia, an Air Force Recruiting Spokeswomen, stated, “… as more states adopt more leniency towards cannabis and THC derivatives, we anticipate a continued increase.” The only stipulation being the recruits who are granted the waiver must have scored high on the entrance exams, graduated high school, and not have any other barriers to joining the forces.
A study conducted by the Army found that the recruits who received the waiver perform the same as the recruits who passed the drug test on their first attempt. Recruits who are willing to go through the process of getting clean during the 90 day period, are likely going to perform well during the training period.
This program is helping fill the gaps that have been created in our military branches enlistment. A pentagon study found that 77 percent of young Americans could not qualify for military service without a waiver due to obesity, drug usage, and/or having physical and mental health problems. The 90 day retest programs are bridging the gaps.
Programs like this are a sign of our country’s progress. Rather than turn away perfectly good candidates from our military, they are providing them a second opportunity to gain enlistment.
Allowing service men and women to continually use marijuana during service is a whole other debate, and down the road this could be a possibility. But for now these programs are a great step towards aligning our country’s cannabis progress with our military branches.
As marijuana becomes less and less de-stigmatized there are going to be more and more adjustments made by large government institutions. These adjustments are a sign that the will of the people is being heard, and are just another example of progress always being undeniable.