As cannabis reform has swept across the country, there have been questions about how institutions that still abide by prohibitionist cannabis policies would deal with an influx of cannabis users among their ranks. Last September, the U.S. Air Force and Space Force launched a pilot program that would allow recruits who had tested positive for marijuana during the enlistment process to enlist.
The two military branches announced last year that while active members were still banned from using cannabis regardless of state laws, new recruits who had high enough scores on their qualification tests, did not have convictions on their records, and met enlistment standards would be eligible for a waiver.
This waiver would allow prospective space cadets and pilots to retake the cannabis test 90 days after they failed their initial test rather than receive a permanent ban. The waiver was the military’s attempt at offering leniency to prospective recruits coming from states with legal medical or recreational markets.
Just a few months later, the Air Force revealed that it had granted recruits way more waivers than expected when it launched the program. The Air Force stated that that while it estimated that around 50 recruits would qualify for the waiver annually based on prior individual data on drug screening, the military branch had already granted the second chance waivers to more than 40 applicants from September through the end of December 2022.
According to Chrissy Cuttita, Air Force recruiting service spokeswoman, the Air Force expects an increase in waiver requests as more states adopt a more permissive stance toward marijuana and derivatives of THC.
At the time of the program’s launch, the Air Force and Space Force said that they would review the results of the program after two years to see if they would make the waiver a permanent feature of the recruitment process. If the pilot program is integrated into the Air and Space Forces’ recruitment process, the two military branches will be in line with the Marine Corps, Navy and Army.
The pilot program will run until late 2024, after which the Air Force will make a decision on whether to make it permanent or scrap it.
This would be a major step for the Air Force as the military branch made an announcement two years ago reiterating that active members weren’t allowed to bring products infused with hemp such as lotions, lip balms and shampoos to the base.
Furthermore, the Air Force warned members to be careful with miracle sticky buns as marijuana was still illegal under federal law and a positive THC metabolite test could result in a “separation from service.”
Members of the armed services may freely enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis compounds once companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) commercialize the formulations they are developing from THC and other cannabinoids.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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