While members of the United States military are permitted to consume alcohol, Uncle Sam will lay down a furious vengeance in the form of a court martial, against any soldier testing positive for marijuana. Not that this is breaking news by any stretch; the federal government has maintained the attitude of a belligerent stepdad towards the use of cannabis since its inception. However, as more states continue to legalize the leaf for recreational purposes, the word on the street is that some of the Army’s few good men, and women, of course, have been using their military identification to buy weed.
Army officials in Washington state are not at all pleased by the idea of their soldiers marching into pot shops and walking out on a mission to get stoned. The Department of the Army has even gone as far as to distribute letters to some of the retail weed slingers across the state, demanding they stop selling to pot to active service members or face the consequences.
Apparently, one or more dispensaries found the letter to be one toke over the line, even for the federal government, and contacted marijuana attorney Hilary Bricken to get to the bottom of it. “This is a new one. Department of the Army is now issuing letters to my #marijuana clients telling them to not sell to the troops…OR ELSE,” said Bricken in a recent tweet.
A number of people noticed bizarre tweet in their feed, but chalked it up as being a typo or a joke. However, when Bricken posted an update later in the day, the consensus was that this was serious business. “Army’s (redacted) “Dear John” letter to one of my #i502 #marijuana retailers. Soldiers can’t even enter the stores!” tweeted Bricken, along with a photo of the letter.
In the letter signed by David L. Chase, Colonel, U.S. Army and President of the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, it states: “This letter is to inform you that your establishment has been declared “Off-Limits” to members of the Armed Forces effective 21 January 2015. Members of the Armed Forces are prohibited from entering your establishment as long as this order is in effect… You have thirty (30) days to present evidence to the AFDCB that you agree to stop selling these substances to military personnel.”
The question is, why has it become the responsibility of the dispensaries to ensure military service members are not purchasing marijuana? The military is full of grown men and women, surely, with enough common sense to make their own decisions in regards to the establishments they frequent and the substances they ingest. If the average American worker must assume the responsibility to get up every morning and make intelligent choices in regards to keeping his or her job, without a babysitter, then members of the Armed Forces should be upheld to the same standard. Regardless if these stoned soldiers get their hands on weed legally or through the black market, the responsibility is their own – not the legitimate marijuana businesses that serve their communities.