The Air Force Recruiting Service is considering changes to its cannabis policy, the Air Force Times reports. Under the policy update, recruits who test positive for cannabis (THC) would no longer be automatically disqualified from joining the Air Force or Space Force.
Major General Ed Thomas, a recruiting boss for the Air Force, told the Times that officials are considering waivers for positive THC tests at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS).
“If applicants test positive for THC when they go to the MEPS (right now), they’re permanently barred from entering the Air Force or the Space Force. But as more states legalize cannabis, there is an increased prevalence of THC-positive applicants.” — Thomas to the Times
It’s unclear when the change will take place or how many people have been turned down due to a positive THC test.
“We have to be realistic today,” Thomas said. “We need to exercise common sense.”
All service members, regardless of the branch they serve in, cannot use cannabis of any kind, including CBD; however, each branch can set its own rules on how to approach cannabis use among new recruits, the report says.
The Navy has a pilot study underway evaluating a similar change where prospective sailors that test positive for THC can retry after a 90-day waiting period. The Navy has granted waivers for cannabis use to trainees at Recruit Training Command for years, a Navy spokesperson told the Times.
Thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for medical use, while 19 states and Washington D.C. have legalized adult-use cannabis. More than half of all new recruits come from one of the states with adult-use reforms in place, the report says.
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