Canada’s military on Friday unveiled a directive governing the use of cannabis by its troops as the country prepares for the drug’s legalization in October.
The directive takes effect on Oct. 17, when pot becomes legal. It prohibits members of Canada’s armed forces from consuming cannabis eight hours before any duty, 24 hours before any operation of weapons or vehicles and 28 days before high altitude parachuting, operating in a hyperbaric environment and serving on a military aircraft.
I think the U.S. is way behind on this one & the Canadian military is making a smart move. There’s bigger problems out there to worry about…
Our military goes by its own federal legal system, the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). That means even in a state that legalizes marijuana, it’s still a no-go for troops. There is a ‘zero tolerance policy’ in place, so say you smoke a little at home on leave over the holiday & pop at a drug test when you get back to base… you’re kicked out no questions asked. It costs a lot of money to train a soldier. To kick them out for that seems like such a waste for me. I think it also discards service-members who may be using marijuana to self-medicate after difficult experiences or injuries.
The reasoning for ‘zero tolerance’ is that the drug could impact readiness and mission performance. I don’t disagree, but I think if we implemented rules like Canada’s it would be fine. There’d be a lot of fuss over it as there is when any change takes place for those in uniform. “Well, how could we tell if they broke the rules & smoked before a mission?!” I don’t think it’d be a common problem, and the guys/gals who would do that are probably already doing that anyway. Annnd you could probably tell.
But really, I don’t think it’d be a big issue among the ranks. The times are a-changin’ and the military needs to keep up & explore the possibility. At the very least, we can pay attention to how that works out in Canada come October, & maybe air drop them some Funyons out of goodwill in the meantime.