Air Force Changes Rules Around Previous Cannabis Use

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Previous marijuana use will not disqualify potential recruits, though use will still be prohibited by active military.

With more states choosing to legalize marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes, the U.S. Air Force is adapting its own rules so that previous marijuana use will not disqualify potential recruits, according to a report on

The changes would not allow marijuana use by active military, and potential recruits diagnosed as having substance abuse disorders would continue to be disqualified from service, according to a statement from the Secretary of the Air Force.

“Standards of pre-accession marijuana use were different for getting into the Air Force Academy vs. Air Force Recruiting Service for enlistment or officer training school vs. AFROTC,” said Air Force spokesman Zachary Anderson.

Added Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for Air Force manpower, personnel and services: “Some recruiters used if you smoked marijuana less than five times, sometimes it was less than 15 times.”

The service will also no longer consider when a potential recruit used marijuana in relation to their application. However, “any condition that would require prescription of medical marijuana would probably be a disqualifying condition to begin with,” Lt. Gen (Dr.) Mark Ediger, the Air Force’s surgeon general, told