Navy Recruits No Longer Disqualified for Cannabis Use

The U.S. Navy has updated its recruitment policy to no longer disqualify recruits who test positive for THC at boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, aiming to adapt to the increasing prevalence and legal accessibility of cannabis.

Full story after the jump.

The U.S. Navy is no longer immediately disqualifying recruits who test positive for THC while attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, reports.

According to Rear Adm. James Waters, the director of the Navy’s personnel plans and policy division, the goal of the policy change is to boost recruitment opportunities as cannabis is becoming more prevalent and legally accessible.

“If they fail that test and own up — ‘Yes, I smoke marijuana ‘– we do an evaluation of the young person to make sure there’s not something else going on. But we trust that through the process of boot camp that we have an opportunity to bring them along with our culture.” — Waters, via

Waters said the move makes the Navy more “reflective” of the reality of cannabis policy in the U.S.

“We recognize that many states have legalized marijuana,” the admiral noted; however, he also said that the policy change only applies to cannabis and he stressed that “we don’t do drugs in the military,” the report said.

The new policy also coincides with other changes the Navy has made to streamline the recruitment process, including adjustments to the pre-boot camp physical training regimen.

The recruitment policy change comes as President Joe Biden (D) considers a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). A group of Senate Democrats, meanwhile, last month called on the Biden Administration to deschedule the plant from the CSA entirely, which would effectively end federal cannabis prohibition.

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