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Federal Law Trumps State Law

Marijuana Use and the Military

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.”

8 Responses to “Marijuana Use and the Military”

  1. Jasmine says:

    If they’re dumb enough to not know its still illegal in the federal system, they shouldn’t be serving anyway.

    Good post!

  2. adrian says:

    If you have a medical prescription for marijuana you shouldn’t be in the military with those existing conditions

  3. johnny says:

    I pissed hot at meps,I was joining the army, they said i was dq FOREVER .. is there any chance i can get into the navy ???

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No. A positive drug test at MEPS renders you ineligible.

  5. Jim says:

    I have a possesion of marijuana at the age of 13 and another at 15 and a paraphinila ticket at 17 am i dq from all the branches or is the maines still possible.? I am 18 no and have not smoked weed in 6 months

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would have a difficult time getting into any service because of the three Misconduct Offenses and the fact that they are all drug related.

  7. Curtis says:

    I got out the military for misuse of over the counter medicine with an re-4 code.. can I get back into the military

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Reenlistment with a RE-4 discharge code is not authorized.

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A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

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