Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gates’ proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would end cannabis testing for military personnel. Politico report.
If the amendment is included in the National Defense Authorization Act, it would further relax the rules regarding marijuana testing within the military. As marijuana legalization sweeps the nation, especially in legalized states, more and more recruits are seeking the benefits of cannabis, whether for recreational purposes, medical benefits, or both. according to new york timesIn 2022, nearly 33% more new hires tested positive than in 2020. At the time of reporting, medical cannabis is legal in 38 states and Washington, DC, and adult-use cannabis is legal in 22 states and Washington, DC.
Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that includes an amendment that would allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical cannabis to patients in legal states. This is expected to go into effect as part of the approved legislation funding the VA in fiscal year 2024. The amendment was introduced by Democratic Senator Jeff Markley of Oregon and passed by vote in June. The bill received bipartisan support from Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida who lost both legs while serving in the military in Afghanistan. would have the same result as the stand-alone bill reintroduced to . Blumenauer and Mast are co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
Gates’ proposed amendments follow other changes to the federal government’s stance on cannabis use. In the past five years, the military had given 3,400 recruits a “retest grace period” after failing drug tests on their first day, according to reports in May. From 2018 to 2022, the Army has fired more than 3,300 recruits who failed drug tests or confessed to past drug use. Historically, the Army is considered the most relaxed compared to other branches of the military (although describing the Army as “relaxed” feels like an oxymoron). . The Navy traditionally has a policy of not accepting anyone who fails a drug test upon entry. Yet, like the Air Force and Marine Corps, even they recently gave recruits the chance to take another drug test in 90 days if they failed the first one.
A good time to point out that a piss test is basically just a cannabis test. For example, both cocaine and heroin appear in the urine for 3 to 4 days after use, but cannabis persists for about 30 days, sometimes longer. So unless you do a drug test immediately after consuming anything other than cannabis (but remember that under federal law cocaine is only Schedule II and cannabis is Schedule I), the infamous pee test only really spoils the stoner, and this seems rather contradictory and unfair, albeit in line with most conservatives’ regressive attitudes towards marijuana.
But even that may be changing, given recent bipartisan support for cannabis reform. Gates, who has ties to the far right, once voted to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Donald Trump, wants the Environmental Protection Agency to be abolished, is a staunch opponent of abortion rights, and was once Kyle Although he has expressed support for Rittenhouse, he is an unlikely stalker ally. . But he’s generally a cannabis advocate, once saying the federal government “has lied to the American public for generations” about the medical benefits of marijuana.
Gates’ desire to end marijuana testing for military personnel ties in with his desire for America’s military to thrive. “Our military is facing a recruitment and retention crisis unprecedented in American history. We should welcome them for their service to our country,” Gates said in a statement.