Rep. Matt Gaetz has called on the Pentagon to end testing for pot as a condition to serve in the armed forces.
Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, proposed a one-sentence amendment to the Defense Department’s 2024 spending bill for both enlisted personnel and commissioned officers.
“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 amendment states.
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Much like his argument against the Pentagon’s relentless push to impose the agendas of LGBTQ and Critical Race Theory advocates, Gaetz maintains the military’s recruiting crisis is so grave that it needs updated thinking.
“Our military is facing a recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history,” Gaetz tweeted on Wednesday.
“I do not believe that prior use of cannabis should exclude Americans from enlisting in the armed forces. We should embrace them for stepping up to serve our country.”
Politico, which reported on Gaetz’s proposal, noted that the U.S. military is witnessing a surge in marijuana users seeking to volunteer. More than 33% more recruits tested positive for pot use than did just two years earlier.
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The increase in the number of states where marijuana is legal appears to be driving the trend.
Politico also noted that another Florida Republican, Rep. Brian Mast of Fort Pierce, has joined a bipartisan effort that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to consider medical marijuana as a treatment in states where that is legal.
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