Provision in Must-Pass Defense Bill Would Bar Military from Making Cannabis Drug Test Condition for Service

A provision in the draft text of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would prohibit U.S. armed service branches from making a drug test for cannabis a condition for enlisting or commissioning into the military, reports. The proposal must survive several legislative steps before becoming law.

The proposal comes as the Justice Department last week announced it would move cannabis from Schedule I under the federal Controlled Substances Act to Schedule III.

The Air Force already has a pilot program that allows recruits who test positive for cannabis to retest, and both the Navy and Army have programs that allow waivers for recruits who test positive for cannabis, the report says.

A Gallup poll released last month found that 12% of Americans 18-29 years old use cannabis “regularly,” or at least 10 days a month, the report says. The demographic is most aligned with prime military recruitment age and, according to, all three branches are struggling with recruitment due, in part, to past cannabis use among potential recruits.

A similar provision was included in last year’s NDAA, proposed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), but the amendment never received a

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