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Bipartisan Push in Congress to Relax Marijuana Rules in Military for Recruitment Boost

Proposed amendments to National Defense Authorization Act would end cannabis testing and allow medical marijuana recommendations for military members.




A US Marine on a patrol in Afghanistan, in 2010.PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKI COMMONS

Bipartisan U.S. lawmakers are advocating for changes to the military’s guidelines on marijuana use, aiming to address the armed services’ recruitment challenges, reports USA Today.

Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, seeking to eliminate cannabis testing for military personnel. Gaetz argues that the military is facing an unprecedented recruitment crisis and believes that prior cannabis use should not disqualify individuals from enlisting.

The military has been grappling with recruitment issues and has implemented various strategies such as offering bonuses and temporarily relaxing education requirements. In 2017, the Army made adjustments to grant waivers for marijuana use in response to the growing demand for soldiers.

The amendment proposed by Gaetz aims to remove cannabis testing during enlistment or officer commissioning. Medical marijuana is legal in 38 states and the District of Columbia, with 23 states and the District of Columbia having regulations for non-medical cannabis use.






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