Contradiction: Marijuana Army Recruitment Waivers and Schedule 1 Status

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While the amount of waivers issued to army recruits that have consumed marijuana sometime in their life has increased over 60% since 2016, other federal issues relating to marijuana remain unchanged. The federal government has come to find marijuana acceptable enough that army recruitment will now turn a blind eye on past marijuana use, but apparently it is not acceptable enough to allow veterans to use cannabis to combat PTSD symptoms.

The issue really boils down to the Schedule 1 status of marijuana which should place cannabis out of reach for almost everything. The status groups marijuana with drugs like heroine, but apparently there is some sort of gray area where marijuana use is more acceptable than heroine use from the federal government\’s perspective.

The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army’s size.

“Provided they understand that they cannot do that when they serve in the military, I will waive that all day long,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the Army’s recruiting command.

The marijuana use exclusions represent about one-quarter of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. They accounted for much of the 50 percent increase overall in recruits who needed a waiver for some type of misconduct.

Snow said the figures probably will rise further as more states legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

Army leaders have faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks amid worries in Congress and elsewhere about a decline in quality among new enlistees.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Snow said he went to his Army leadership early this year to ask if he could bring in more of the category four recruits to meet higher enlistment goals. He said he promised that the Army would stay well below a 4 percent limit on the group allowed by the Pentagon.

Apparently state legalization of cannabis has somehow or another influenced the army\’s decision to waive automatic denial of anyone looking to enlist in the army that has consumed marijuana. Is this evidence that state legalization is influencing the federal government\’s perspective on marijuana?

read more at pbs.org

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