Updated: October 20, 2014
Yesterday, Massachusetts became the newest state to approve the use of medical marijuana. I am writing this post inform you of the facts concerning the use of medical marijuana and how that use would affect your enlistment or commissioning into our Armed Forces.
The total times that you use marijuana counts the same whether the use was with or without the prescription, so if you need a drug use waiver for enlistment/commission or a specific rating/program, having once had the prescribed card doesn’t “erase” that use – it was all illegal use as far as the federal government and military is concerned, and will be considered as such.
Beyond the use of marijuana itself, another obstacle you will encounter is that all of your medical records which lead to the prescription/referral must be submitted to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for review and consideration – keep in mind, too, assuming your card is still valid would imply that the underlying medical condition still exists -– depending on the medical condition, you may not be medically qualified to enlist.
In two other states, Colorado and Washington, the recreational use of marijuana was approved by voters. The same applies; even if it is legal to use the drug in your state according to the state’s law, it is still considered illegal use by the federal government and the military and may ultimately require a drug use waiver.
So, if you may have the military as one of your options for the future, keep this information in mind — until the federal government changes its stance on marijuana, “Just say, No.”