Military Times Report: Air Force, Space Force may let in applicants who test positive for THC

Marijuana use may no longer disqualify prospective applicants from joining the Air Force or Space Force, due to a possible policy change under consideration at the Air Force Recruiting Service.

Recruiting boss Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas told Air Force Times in a recent interview that his organization is exploring the option of granting waivers to recruits who test positive for THC, marijuana’s high-inducing chemical, at Military Entrance Processing Stations.

“If applicants test positive for THC when they go to the MEPS, they’re permanently barred from entering the Air Force or the Space Force,” he said. “But as more states legalize cannabis, there is an increased prevalence of THC-positive applicants.”

If a THC-positive applicant is otherwise qualified to serve and the Air Force believes they will act in good faith and forgo cannabis once in the service, Thomas said those would be grounds for a waiver.

“We have to be realistic today,” Thomas said. “We need to exercise common sense.”

The service did not answer when that policy may be finalized or how many people have been turned away for positive THC tests.

The Pentagon prohibits troops from smoking, eating or otherwise using marijuana and marijuana-derived products, including those with CBD or THC. However, it’s up to the services to set their own policies on how to handle applicants who use those products before joining the military.

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