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Lawmakers Look to Loosen Cannabis Use Rules for Military Recruits

The military is facing β€œa recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history.”

A bipartisan pair of U.S. lawmakers have pitched changes to cannabis use rules for military recruits.

Representatives Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Robert Garcia, D-Calif., have proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

It would eliminate cannabis testing for military recruits and allow those who had recently used the drug to enlist in the military.

The proposed changes are designed to counter what they called β€œa recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history.”

β€œI do not believe that prior use of cannabis should exclude Americans from enlisting in the armed forces. We should embrace them for stepping up to serve our country,” said Gaetz in a statement.

As more states legalize adult-use recreational cannabis, the recruitment woes for the U.S. military are deepening.

The lawmakers cited data suggesting that last year, nearly 5,000 recruits failed their entry drug tests, up 33% from two years earlier.


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