The powers that be have permitted the U.S. Army to grant more marijuana waivers. The decision comes at a critical time for the United States’ Armed Forces. The Army has a goal of 80,000 newly recruited soldiers. According to military sources, the Army plans to meet their recruitment goal by accepting prospective soldiers who would otherwise be considered less than desirable—including those who have admitted to smoking weed.
The Military and Marijuana
If you don’t know much about the recruitment process of the United States Army, here is a very basic explanation.
The first step is to take an exam called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Then, prospective soldiers must pass a physical examination, including a drug screening. The third step is a meeting with a service enlistment counselor to discuss your potential career in the Armed Forces, and then finally, the fourth step is to take an oath.
If you’ll notice, the first step towards enlisting is taking the exam. This is designed to weed through poorly qualified potentials to build a stronger, more efficient military. There are those with lower test scores who get in though; they’re known as Category Four. But they only make up a small percentage of recruited soldiers.
That number, however, is growing.
In 2013, Category Four soldiers made up just 0.2 percent of new recruits. In 2016, the percentage jumped to 0.6. Then in the last fiscal year, Category Four soldiers spiked to 1.9 percent of new recruits. And the experts aren’t happy about this.
According to studies, smarter soldiers, as in those who perform better on the exam, are more efficient.
The thing is, Category Four soldiers aren’t the Army’s only concern. If prospective soldiers admit to having smoked marijuana, they jeopardize their military career.
Over the years, the Army has granted waivers for these occasions.
Even though the United States Armed Forces prohibits drug use, a prospective soldier may receive a waiver on the condition that they vow to never use cannabis again.
Final Hit: U.S. Army to Grant More Marijuana Waivers
Reports have been rolling in that authorities have permitted the Army to grant more marijuana waivers. While this decision is partially based on the changing laws regarding the plant and the spreading legality throughout the country, there may be another reason behind it.
Because of the evolving cannabis laws and the Army’s goal of recruiting 80,000 soldiers, it makes sense for them to excuse the use more. Major General Jeffrey Snow has confirmed the move for the Army to grant more marijuana waivers. Additionally, he stated that the Army’s main concern was really a pattern of misconduct that would lead to clashes with authority. “Smoking marijuana in an isolated incident as a teenager is not a pattern of misconduct,” he said.