By Steve Elliott
With the number of states where marijuana is now legal reaching four (plus the District of Columbia), the United States military is still trying to enforce 20th Century drug policies of zero tolerance towards cannabis, despite the shifting sands of public opinion.
With Alaska, Oregon and D.C. joining Colorado and Washington as legal havens for weed, the army has gone to great pains to remind troops that state law doesn't help servicemen who smoke pot, reports RT.com.
The military is governed by federal laws, under which marijuana possession remains a criminal offense; use or possession of cannabis also remains a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and can result in court martial.
Each branch of the military claims to keep troops off marijuana by frequent drug testing and stiff penalties for those who test positive.
According to Army testing data recently obtained by the Washington Times, 30,836 of the 41,000 soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state were tested in fiscal 2014; that's about 75 percent. Meanwhile, at Fort Carson, Colorado, all 26,000 active duty personnel were tested.