A proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would abolish testing military personnel for cannabis at time of enlistment or commission.
The proposed amendment, a “prohibition on cannabis testing for enlistment or commission in certain armed forces,” was introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
“Our military is facing a recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history,” Gaetz said of the amendment on social media Wednesday. “I do not believe that prior use of cannabis should exclude Americans from enlisting in the armed forces.”
He added, “We should embrace them for stepping up to serve our country.”
The proposed amendment would end cannabis testing for members of the military both at the time of enlistment and when receiving commission as an officer.
“The Secretary of the military department concerned may not require an individual to submit to a test for cannabis as a condition of enlistment of such individual as a member, or the commission of such individual as an officer, of an Armed Force,” the proposed amendment reads.
The military has long held uniquely strict regulations on the use of marijuana by its servicemen.
Last year, President Biden pardoned thousands of Americans who faced federal marijuana possession charges — but not members of the military.
Biden’s move did not apply to Uniform Code of Military Justice offenses, meaning service members charged under military law for similar crimes were not eligible for the same benefit.