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Marijuana in the Military

Disclaimer: This is a hypothetical question which I would like to discuss. This isn't a practice that I would encourage or promote. Just a discussion topic.

There are now two States in the Union which have passed marijuana laws, Colorado and Washington State. Let us for one moment assume that you are a Soldier in the military, which prohibits all marijuana use. As a soldier, you take an Oath of Enlistment to the U.S. Constitution.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Congress has the authority to tell its citizens what they can and can not put into their bodies. Especially a plant which grows naturally. That right is reserved to the States and/or the People themselves, according to the 9th and 10th Amendments.

I understand that the Active military and the Reserves are federally operated and should probably follow federal guidelines. But let's say you are a Guardsmen, which falls under State regulations. If you are a Guardsmen in the States of Washington or Colorado which now have legal marijuana laws for recreational use, would a direct order to not smoke cannabis, be considered unconstitutional, and therefore unenforcable?

Drinking alcohol in those states is legal, and soldiers are allowed to consume it. Why wouldn't a soldier in the Guard be able to practice the activities legal in his/her State?


I'm just brainstorming here, and would like some more input. I myself am NOT in the National Guard, so these questions do not directly apply to me. Is there anything I am forgetting to take into account?

Thanks DP

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Two things to consider

1. Uniform Code of Miltary Justice Article 112a
Any person subject to this chapter who wrongfully uses, possesses, manufactures, distributes, imports into the customs territory of the United States, exports from the United States, or introduces into an installation, vessel, vehicle, or aircraft used by or under the control of the armed forces a substance described in subsection (b) shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

(b) The substances referred to in subsection (a) are the following:

(1) opium, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, methamphetamine, phencyclidine, barbituric acid, and marijuana, and any compound or derivative of any such substance.

2. DD Form 4/1 Military Enlistment Contract


The UCMJ is the code used to prosecute military personnel and the contract is their consent.

Though they do taket an oath to support and defend the constitution, I believe it is the enlistment contract that puts them into military jurisdiction. See the pdf of the enlistment contract under section C.

As the Drill Instructors always use to say "USMC= U Signed the MotherF'ing Contract." Seems they were right.

"Liberty is the soul's right to breathe, and when it cannot take a long breath laws are girded too tight. Without liberty, man is a syncope." -Henry Ward Beecher

Great question, in fact (as

Great question, in fact (as far as what I saw: USMC reservist) they even allowed under age drinking here and there (Marine Corps Ball, similar type events) but when it came to drugs it was always zero tolerance per signing on the contract, but then again you were asking about national guard so not sure if the contract is similar

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes."
Andrew Jackson