Navy Cautions Sailors After Legalization of Marijuana

Official Seal of the United States NavyAlthough the state of Washington has recently updated the law on the use of marijuana, essentially decriminalizing use for civilians, zero tolerance drug policy regulations remain unaffected for sailors.

The zero tolerance drug policy was implemented after a fatal crash of an EA-6B Prowler on board USS Nimitz in 1981, killing 14 crew members and injuring 45 others.

Autopsies were performed and several members of the flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana. Following this discovery, then-President Ronald Reagan instituted a zero tolerance drug policy across all of the U.S. Armed Forces.

As a result regular, random urinalysis drug checks are conducted on all military personnel.

“Marijuana can stay in the system for up to 30 days depending on the person’s metabolism, dosage and method of consumption,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class David Johnson, a hospital corpsman. “Because it’s lipid-based, it can stay in the fat cells for a long period of time, whereas water-based substances would flow through very quickly.”

Marijuana, or cannabis, induces multiple psychological affects to the user’s mental state.

“Being under the influence of marijuana can result in slow reaction speed and poor judgment, and can negatively affect operational success,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Lightsey, a legalman. “In the case of an emergency, people could get hurt. You don’t want anyone to be high while operating a jet.”

Illegal or wrongful use, possession, sale, transfer of controlled substances or any attempt to commit drug offenses results in maximum punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which includes forfeiture of a half month’s pay for two months, reduction in rank, courts martial, three days confinement on bread and water (for E-3 and below sailors), 45 days of extra duty and 45 days on restriction or 60 days of restriction and discharge from military service.

“Aside from the typical punishment that follows drug use, there are collateral consequences to getting kicked out of the military,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Anderson, Nimitz’ command judge advocate. “Aside from increasing the difficulty of finding a job, you also lose your G.I Bill. It’s not a good idea for sailors to dabble with marijuana because it’s not worth it. Before you eat that pot brownie, ask yourself if it’s worth losing $90,000.”

For more information about the misuse of controlled substances and its consequences, reference Milpersman 1910-146.

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  • illnevertell

    i would say having the freedom to chose is worth losing $90,000

    • Anonymous

      Soon it will be mostly unmanned drones used while human numbers are reduced. It’s a lot cheaper that way.

  • FRED

    TYPICAL GOVERNMENT POLICY THAT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. 0 TOLERANCE ON DRUGS? DOES THE ADMIRAL DRINK COFFEE WHEN ON DUTY AND HAVE A MARGARITA WHEN OFF DUTY? THATS OK THOUGH BECAUSE THESE ARE HIS DRUGS.
    BUT MARIJUANA SMOKED A MONTH AGO IS NOT OK EVEN THOUGH IT IS MUCH SAFER THAN ALL OTHER DRUGS.
    THAT PROWLER DIDN’T CRASH BECAUSE OF MARIJUANA…….

    • Anonymous

      It’s called propaganda. Do you know how much the US military relies on pharmaceutical profits?

  • HarshTruth

    The soldier life is for people who are afraid of freedom, afraid of deciding what to do on their own. Soldiers want structure, top-down authority because it means less thinking & responsibility for them, but more reflected glory from being a “big brave soldier”, etc. Kissinger was generally right when he said that “Military men are dumb animals…”

    • cohara1103

      bro i was a pathfinder in the 82nd i loved the fact that i went to work in the worlds greatest amusement park……theres no roller coaster that gives the same rush as a pathfinder jump or an air assult mission with a dozen black hawks

    • http://www.facebook.com/vercingetorixx Caleb Duerr

      The military is a great adventure for young people. Instead of working at burger barn when i graduated high school, i joined the army and they put me behind a 5 million dollar tank. When i got out i used the GI bill to get a bachelors degree, and now get free healthcare for the rest of my life along with a $565 check every month which allowed me to start my own business. I bought a house with the VA loan and I’m only 28. The military is an excellent option for young people. I just wouldn’t recommend it as a carrier, but there are a lot of people who retire at 38 years old with a nice pension and multiple degree. Your comment is simply ignorant and you obviously think you know more than you do.

      • patriot usa

        gay bo had to bunk up for yrs to get 500 a month

      • Anonymous

        It’s the larger picture I think most object to. Slaughtering anyone who gets in the way of resource acquisition anywhere. Murder for money.

        You may have benefited from war and the debt that will crash the US but the world certainly hasn’t. It may destroy us in the end.

    • gates

      A soldier is someone who makes it possible for any ass to say what he feels regardless of how foolish or selfish to repay the freedoms they are enjoying. Ass hat.

  • ViDeoGuns

    “Autopsies were performed and several members of the flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana.” Funny how it says nothing about the pilot who wrecked his plane testing positive for Marijuana. I guess the assumption is the flight crew could’ve gotten out of the way quicker if they hadn’t smoked?

    • http://www.facebook.com/bob.w.knight Bob William Knight

      lol

  • Matthew Cunningham

    Its sad that after so many years of our Government lies to its citizens about Cannabis the Navy with its history with Cannabis would be more informed despite the smell of Liberty and Freedom Today the most patriotic thing we Americans can do is end prohibition.

  • cohara1103

    you can only become commander in chief after admitting marijuana use

  • http://www.facebook.com/vercingetorixx Caleb Duerr

    Alcohol and tabacco are much larger problems in the military than anything else. A soldier can drink a bottle of vodka every night if he wants, but he cant smoke a joint and fly a plane 30 days later because thats dangerous. The governments real problem with marijuana is that it makes you think and makes you become less willing to kill someone.

  • Thinking Clearly

    “Marijuana, or cannabis, induces multiple psychological affects to the user’s mental state.”

    So does alcohol but we don’t throw people in prison for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003284307084 Muzzy Lu

    Marijuana was legal in America for years before it was banned, and nothing horrible happened. Cannabis will only help people in pain, and be a very mild tame recreational habit to others. Better for America that many people use marijuana than most other drugs and alcohol. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.

  • gates

    Know why the military did nothing about pot during the Viet Nam war ? There would have been no one left to play the games besides tight assed morons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-William-Majkowski/1507188872 Adam William Majkowski

    It’s a war on a substance which does not impair your ability to fly a jet or any other vehicle. It makes you think twice before doing things. Often times people choose not to do the wrong thing when they think it over. The pilot was probably drunk. Sailors drink. People who smoke pot are less likely to do stupid stuff. Like join a military or take orders to kill other people. All the dangerous drugs like alcohol and cocaine leave your system within hours or days, making them unable to test a person for them. Cannabis is good wholesome stuff and is safe for kids and pets. Legalizing cannabis means ending the war. This is why the DoD is against it. A country of pot smokers won’t join the military or support the troops. A nation of potheads won’t hand taxes over to the pentagon for them to build more bases around 3rd world countries. We don’t need military bases. We need to take care of the poor and disabled. We need a volunteer national guard to respond in an emergency. Not a global attack force.

  • Anonymous

    Some relevant facts re:
    marijuana prohibition.

    - It is a human
    rights issue.

    - Serves as a control grid to project government power
    because of its wide spread use.

    - A monkey can interdict it.

    - If pot is smelled/suspected your rights are gone. You become
    a “target” for prison and forfeiture (theft of your property).

    - Deprives sick people of literally life saving medicine.

    - Protects “chosen” markets from competition
    (Pharma, tobacco, alcohol) while cashing in on prison industrial complex.

    - Provides banks with massive profits to the point where
    they are dependent on it for stability in many places.

    - Enables corruption through massive black market.

    - Creates massive criminal gang organizations who recruit
    youth.

    - Provides children access to hard drugs through the black
    market.

    - Provides massive political capital to politicians who cash
    in on the fear of an older generation and the indoctrinated religious steeped
    in Reefer Madness hysteria and “puritanism”.

    - Marijuana prohibition has very little to do with public
    safety.

    Marijuana Prohibition =Tyranny

  • Jesus

    I have only one thing to say. Watch the video “The Union ” case close.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.t.vance Thomas Tony Vance

    For a short peroid in the early 70s if you got caught smiking pot in the barracks you ended up working for the first sgt on saturdays. That was it. Officers were saying at the time they would rather have their soldiers doing pot than drinking. Those were the days!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jose-Gonzales/100003694111815 Jose Gonzales

    The North Korean soldiers smoke marijuana when off duty. Besides being legal, it is much preferred over alcohol.

    If the feds want marijuana to be illegal, they can do it properly with a constitutional amendment like they did for alcohol. It’s time to send a message to Congress that they overstepped their authority under the Constitution to wage a war on marijuana.

  • K Caro

    I learned about this when i was in the Navy in 1979. I am glad that this information is still being shared with the Military Community many years later. I have never forgotten that Marijuana affects your motor skills for up to 30 DAYS after smoking it, as learned in Boot Camp.