Smoking Weed in the Military? Canadian Military Marijuana Guidelines Updated For Legalization

Smoking Weed in the Military? Canadian Military Marijuana Guidelines Updated For Legalization

The Canadian Forces are placing limitations on when personnel can use recreational cannabis after legalization. While a few of these might strike you as rather progressive, there are a few addendums that service men and women who use cannabis might find a tad hard to swallow. Fortunately, Canadian military marijuana restrictions are largely limited to service members’ occupations and current or upcoming missions.

Smoking weed in the military will be permitted, but not while personnel are at work. To this end, supervisors are receiving training on how to identify whether their troops are exhibiting signs of intoxication. These were listed as having red or glassy eyes, slow reaction times, anxiety and unusual talkativeness.

These above guidelines are truly written like someone who has never smoked weed in their life. Perhaps this understanding emerges from the nearly $200,000 dollars the Armed Forces spent on goggles to get their top brass high.

The new Canadian military marijuana guidelines are contained in a new directive published by the Armed Forces. They are designed to protect the safety and security of troops, equipment (especially food supplies) and missions.

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What are the Specific Limitations on Smoking Weed in the Military?

Canadian military weed goggles, weed and the army
The Canadian military has had an odd relationship with marijuana… like the time it spent nearly 200,000 for goggles that simulate the effects of weed (image via National Post)

As evidenced by the Canadian military marijuana restrictions, the Armed Forces are approaching legalization with a sort of permissive cautiousness.

Smoking weed in the military is prohibited eight hours before going on duty, and 24 hours before handling or operating a weapon, servicing a military plane, parachuting or any other exercise or unit training.

With regards to submarine crews or aviation, the Canadian military marijuana policies adopt an attitude that reflects a sort of irrational conservative paranoia and ignorance. Consuming or smoking weed in the military is prohibited for these servicemen and women 28 days in advance of duty. All members are forbidden from cannabis use during international operations, exercises or training.

So what sort of punishment awaits service men and women who defy Canadian military marijuana guidelines? The answer may vary. Service members who fail to abide by the rules or are suspected of what has been referred to as “misusing cannabis“. Those guilty can face disciplinary action or even charges.

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Evaluation of the Canadian Military Marijuana Policies

Overall, the Canadian military marijuana guidelines are favorable. The military has acknowledged that soldiers, like everyone else, need to unwind and destress. The fact that a historically, deeply conservative institution has conceded to the status quo and allowed consuming and smoking weed in the military is heartwarming and refreshing. Service men and women risk their lives, sanity, and health in defense of our nation… The least we can do is permit them to use cannabis.

However, some aspect of the Canadian military marijuana policies, particularly the restrictions placed upon submarine and aircraft personnel are a little bizarre. For occasional users, THC is out of your system within about a week. The high produced by the substance lasts much less than that… usually 4 hours or less. So what’s with the 28-day limit?

Could it be that policymakers simply wanted to ban smoking weed in the military for airplane and submarine crews entirely? Thus 28 days would simply reflect an arbitrary line in the sand to achieve that goal.

Or maybe that number was produced because a true sobriety test for marijuana does not yet exist. Therefore, policymakers wanted to heir on the side of caution and ensure that anyone piloting these vehicles has zero THC in their system. Thus the 28-day limit was regarded as the most viable alternative.

My personal, favorite explanation is that one of the Canadian military’s top brass was a massive fan of Danny Boyle’s riveting zombie movie and insisted this be the time limit for smoking weed in the military.

By: Stefan Hosko
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