A new analysis funded by the government has found that past marijuana use has little to no effect on overall performance of army recruits. The analysis found that recruits who had a history of cannabis use were just as likely as their peers to advance in rank. They were also more likely to leave the army due to drug issues but less likely to leave as a result of performance or health issues. The analysis also found no evidence that the legalization trend spreading across the United States had affected recruit outcomes.
The report, which was compiled by the RAND Corporation, states that recruits with a documented history of behavioral health conditions or cannabis as well as waivered recruits were in some cases likely to perform better in comparison to their counterparts.
The report focuses on waivers that permit the U.S. Army to reconsider applicants who had initially been disqualified for a variety of reasons, including the use of marijuana. Applicants with a documented history of marijuana use as well as those who test positive for cannabis need waivers to enlist into the army. This also applies to individuals diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorders or ADHD.
In a blog post, an official from RAND Corp. stated that without the presence of waivers, about one-third of individuals aged 18 or older would be prevented from enlisting because of failed cannabis drug tests. The official noted that recruits who were allowed to join the army despite their history of cannabis use performed like other soldiers.
The Arroyo Center, a federally funded research and development center under RAND Corp, was asked by the U.S. Army to conduct an analysis of the performance of recruits who had received waivers. The analysis gathered records on every recruit who entered the U.S. Army between 2001 and 2012, with the researchers noting that the analysis didn’t find a statistically substantial relationship between the performance of a recruit and a documented history of marijuana use.
Overall, the researchers found that the performance of recruits wouldn’t change significantly if waivers were increased, noting that in some cases, the impact would be improvements in performance. Currently, those wishing to join the army have the option of requesting positive tests for cannabis during their physical exams. Applicants can also request waivers for misdemeanor convictions for driving while impaired or under the influence of cannabis and for the possession of paraphernalia or marijuana.
The authors of the report acknowledge that while some of their findings reinforced existing views, most differed from their expectations.
It looks as if science is gradually dispelling many of the misconceptions that have surrounded marijuana, and a time may come when sector players such as Hero Technologies Inc.(OTC: HENC) will operate in an environment that views cannabis just like any other commodity.
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