There is good news if you desire to serve in the military, but you have a previous arrest for marijuana possession. The United States Army is issuing an increasing number of enlistment waivers to those who have smoked pot and also want to serve their country. These waivers allow previously disqualified applicants to now enter the Army.
The increase in waivers reflects the Army’s difficulty in achieving its ever-increasing recruiting goals. In 2016 the Army enlisted approximately 63,000 recruits. That number increased to approximately 69,000 last year. The Army’s goal in 2018 is to enlist 80,000 recruits. The need for new soldiers comes as Congress has reversed trends begun in the Obama administration to downsize the military.
And, the number of waivers granted for marijuana users, while relatively small, nonetheless is increasing rapidly as well. In 2016, there were 191 waivers granted. That number increased substantially, to more than 500, last year. While small compared against the total number of recruits enlisted, the increasing number of waivers granted is especially significant considering that just three years ago, no such waivers were granted. This substantial increase is one way officials are attempting to comply with directives to expand the Army’s size. Continue reading