New Army Sec. Says Past Cannabis Use Won’t Exclude Anyone From Enlisting

Newly appointed Army Secretary Mark Esper has been on the job simply over three months, and on Thursday, he confronted the press for the primary time on the Pentagon. The 21-year Army veteran and former prime lobbyist for Raytheon has been on a world tour assembly our nation’s troops, and his first feedback to the press are already making waves.

Aside from deflecting questions on President Trump’s proposed army parade and transgender ban, Esper briefly touched on the army department’s stance on accepting new troopers which have used marijuana up to now.

“If a young kid comes in and says, ‘I’m a habitual user and I have no intent on giving it up because it is my God-given right,’ then sorry, you go somewhere else,” Esper defined. “But if [an applicant]comes in and says, ‘I’m in a state that has legalized marijuana and I tried it once when I was 15 at a party and it’s not for me and I have no intent on doing it and oh, by the way, I’m a 3.2 GPA and I’m on the basketball team.’ I’ll take you, I’ll give you a waiver and I’ll take you.”

Esper’s tackle hashish is just not far off from former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who in January of final yr launched a memo detailing comparable steerage on marijuana use for recruiters as her time period wound down. James instituted new recruitment insurance policies as a result of the present technique of questioning was “not reflective of the continuing legalization of marijuana in numerous states throughout the nation.”

For the nation’s present troops, nevertheless, these modifications in angle towards marijuana have little impression when service women and men are discharged. The Department of Veterans Affairs has regularly resisted ahead motion in analyzing medical marijuana as a therapeutic choice for veterans returning residence from service, regardless of having the latitude to take action.

When Rep. Tim Walz from Minnesota questioned Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on why the VA refuses to analysis or make the most of medical marijuana as an alternative choice to dangerous prescription painkillers, Shulkin replied, “VA is dedicated to analysis and creating efficient methods to assist veterans deal with post-traumatic stress dysfunction and persistent ache circumstances. However, federal regulation restricts VA’s means to conduct analysis involving medical marijuana, or to refer veterans to such analysis tasks.


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