Matt Gaetz Wants to Stop Cannabis Testing for Military

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has put forward an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that aims to eliminate cannabis testing for individuals enlisting in the military or accepting a commission. This proposed amendment addresses the growing issue of marijuana use among military recruits, particularly in states where it is legal.

With a significant increase in positive tests for marijuana use among recruits, Gaetz’s amendment seeks to help the military meet its recruitment goals. In addition to Gaetz’s proposal, other amendments related to cannabis use within the military are also being considered.

“Our military is facing a recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history,” Gaetz said on Twitter. “I do not believe that prior use of cannabis should exclude Americans from enlisting in the armed forces.”

According to the New York Times, the number of military recruits testing positive for marijuana use has risen by nearly 33% in 2022 compared to 2020. This increase poses a challenge for the military, particularly in states where recreational cannabis use is legal.

Gaetz’s proposed amendment to the NDAA, H.R. 2670 (118), seeks to eliminate cannabis testing for individuals who wish to enlist in the armed forces or accept a commission as a military officer. Despite the legality of recreational cannabis use in almost half of the states, it remains illegal at the federal level. Recognizing the struggle of federal agencies to recruit new personnel, recruiters have relaxed drug screening rules. Gaetz’s amendment aims to address the recruitment and retention crisis faced by the military.

Alongside Gaetz’s proposed amendment, other amendments related to cannabis use are also being considered. One such amendment, proposed by the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus (Reps. Brian Mast, Barbara Lee, Earl Blumenauer, and Dave Joyce), would allow doctors at the Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide medical opinions on the use of cannabis as a treatment in states where medical marijuana is legal. This amendment recognizes the potential benefits of medical cannabis and aims to improve patient care within the VA system.

Another amendment proposed by Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales explicitly permits military personnel to consume CBD products that are legal under federal law. This amendment acknowledges the legality of certain CBD products and seeks to provide clarity for military members who may benefit from such products.

Gaetz has been an advocate for loosening marijuana laws in the past. Although he faced scrutiny regarding his connections to the medical marijuana industry, no charges were ever filed against him. Last year, Gaetz voted in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, a bill aimed at legalizing cannabis at the federal level. However, the bill did not advance in the Senate.

Information for this story was found via Politico and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Matt Gaetz Wants to Stop Cannabis Testing for Military

  • July 6, 2023 12:19 PM at 12:19 pm

    If we could get all the armed forces around the world to use cannabis, perhaps we could eliminate war.


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