The United States Navy has announced a change in policy that will see them no longer immediately fire a recruit who tests positive for marijuana when arriving to boot camp.
Rear Adm. James Waters, the director of the Navy’s military personnel plans and policy division, said at a press conference that the change gives Navy officials the authority to grant waivers for any recruits who initially test positive for THC.
“If they fail that test and own up — ‘Yes, I smoke marijuana ‘– we do an evaluation of the young person to make sure there’s not something else going on,” says Waters. “But we trust that through the process of boot camp that we have an opportunity to bring them along with our culture.”
Water says the change is “reflective of where legislation is in society”, says “We recognize that many states have legalized marijuana”.
The change in policy is one of several the Navy has made in recent months in order to try and thwart falling enrollment numbers; enrolment is down around 10% from the same point last year, a historic drop
“If we’re going to recruit 40,000 sailors,” says Waters, the previous marijuana policy “is really, really unhelpful and so we want to try to continue to work on that.”
The move comes as the federal government considers rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III, allowing it to be used for prescription use across the country.