Air Force to Expand Medical Waivers and Stop Asking about Prior Pot Use


The U.S. Air Force is seeking to expand its ranks by boosting the number of medical waivers it issues for potential recruits, Military.com recently reported.

Prospective airmen and women who, in the past, were routinely disqualified from serving because of such medical issues as eczema, asthma and ADHD, will now be given a second chance on a case-by-case basis.

But in another important change, rules blocking recruits who have priorly used marijuana will also be relaxed.

Previously, applicants were carefully screened concerning drug and alcohol involvement. As a minimum, they could expect the recruiter to ask is they had every used or trafficked drugs.

If the answer was yes to trafficking, the recruit could expect to be ineligible for enlistment.

In terms of use, a person who had used “non-hard” drugs in any amount considered more than just “experimentation” (use of marijuana over 15 times is generally when the military considers “experimentation” to stop) would likely have been barred from joining the Armed Forces, according to U.S. Military Enlistment Standards.

While the Air Force will still have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to pot use among its enlisted members, the number of days, weeks or months a potential recruit used weed prior to enlisting will no longer be a limiting factor.

Up until now, Air Force admission sources were inconsistent on what timeframe was acceptable for prior marijuana use.

“Standards of pre-accession marijuana use were different for getting into the Air Force Academy vs. Air Force Recruiting Service for enlistment or officer training school vs. AFROTC,” Air Force spokesman Zachary Anderson told Military.com.

“We didn’t ask the same questions,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for Air Force Manpower, Personnel and Services. “Some recruiters used if you smoked marijuana less than five times, sometimes it was less than 15 times.”

Lt. Gross said the fact that 29 states have legalized marijuana in one form or another, made the Air Force question, “How should we think about that?”

“What we decided to do is stop asking [about] prior marijuana use at the recruiter level,” she said, because “first of all, who really counts how many times they’ve used marijuana? So that just comes off the table.”

Exactly, who’s counting anyway?

Sounds like a good move, in keeping with the Air Force’s motto: “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

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