08 September 2022 |

Air Force considers making chances to THC results from recruits, California social services to handle cannabis like alcohol

By Kaitlin Domangue

Air Force considers enlisting recruits with positive THC test results

So this is the craziest and most unexpected thing I’ve seen in awhile. One day I’ll learn to stop being surprised by what I see in cannabis – today is not that day. 

The Air Force Recruiting Service is considering changing current policy to allow some leeway for Air Force and Space Force recruits that test positive for THC during MEPS testing, a process all recruits have to go through before enlisting. 

This does not mean that service members can consume cannabis while in the military, but initial positive THC results could be overlooked if these changes are made. 

There’s no set date to vote on or enact these changes, so it’s unclear when or if these changes will take place. Currently, the laws preventing cannabis use as a service member are very strict. Even CBD is prohibited in all branches. 

“If applicants test positive for THC when they go to the MEPS (right now), they’re permanently barred from entering the Air Force or the Space Force. But as more states legalize cannabis, there is an increased prevalence of THC-positive applicants, said Major General Ed Thomas to the Air Force Times. 

Thomas goes on to say, “We have to be realistic today. We need to exercise common sense.”

Make it make sense 

I just cannot. I am seeing myself out. Goodbye – the utter confusion and chaos and patchiness of the cannabis industry is going to prematurely gray my hair y’all. 

*deep breaths* 

This is a cool step forward. Really, it is. 

But why is the U.S. Air Force 1) being more understanding about the realities of state-legal cannabis than the federal government and 2) why will the positive THC results be overlooked for potential military service members but basically every other job in the U.S. doesn’t have that luxury? 

Oh wait. I know. It’s because the federal government won’t legalize cannabis. 

And individual entities like the The Air Force or even your local grocery store can choose to accept or deny applicants who have tested positive for THC because state-legal cannabis is a thing. 

This is a really huge step forward and I commend The Air Force for understanding the realities of state-legal cannabis & not wanting to punish new recruits over it. 

It’s again, confusing and frustrating because our government doesn’t hold the same sentiment. Yet the Air Force is a government entity??? 

President Biden’s Administration fired five staffers last year for past cannabis consumption. 

Yes, past. Meaning they did not test positive at the time of being fired but, they’d used it before and admitted to it. Were they in a legal state at the time of consumption? Doesn’t matter, they’re gone. 

So I’m excited to see this from the Air Force, but at the same time – I’m infuriated because the federal government could fix this quickly and then the majority of Americans would be protected. Not just the ones whose employers have taken the steps to protect them. 

But with $5 billion to make over the next few years by keeping cannabis illegal: I don’t foresee them jumping to fix anything anytime soon.

California social workers to treat cannabis like alcohol in child welfare cases

TW: please scroll by if you’re upset by this topic – see ya Sunday! 💖

Seeing legislation like this come to fruition is encouraging. 

In some states, even if the parents are doing everything else right – cannabis consumption can be a valid reason to remove children from the home. 

The legislation’s sponsor, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D), said: 

“Cannabis use alone should not be a basis for state intervention into family life.”

“As is the case with alcohol and prescription medication, parents and guardians should be allowed to safely and legally use cannabiswithout fear of having their children permanently removed from their care, provided there are no other concerns regarding the child’s safety,” he continued. 

Leave 👏 responsible 👏 cannabis 👏 consuming 👏 parents alone 

As a parent of 3 young children, I’m always conscious of the fact that my rights as a medical cannabis patient aren’t guaranteed. 

I don’t allow myself to think about what might happen if I ever somehow crossed paths with a scorned child services worker who hates medical cannabis patients – because that’s a very scary scenario to think about. 

But, I’m always very careful about what I say and do in front of my children. As it stands, they are very young and don’t know anything about cannabis or that Tony and I use it as medicine. They do know what CBD is, though! 

It’s a hard situation to be in when the medicine that helps you manage your chronic, lifelong anxiety and appetite suppression (from my ulcerative colitis) is federally illegal and frowned upon by much of society AND potentially puts your children at risk. 

Even typing that sentence is jarring, because doing anything that puts my children at even a minor risk of harm should be off the table for me. 

But cannabis is not illegal in the state of Missouri where I live. I’m a qualified medical cannabis patient alongside my husband and we are responsible consumers with cared-for, loved, polite, and educated children. 

Logically, my kids should not be at risk of being removed from my care

Being diagnosed with anxiety at 5 years old, cannabis helps me manage parenthood and the stress of life in a way I’ve never been able to before. My life has been a constant cycle of panic and stress because of this mental health condition. 

It’s not myfault the federal government doesn’t agree with the majority of the country, countless medical professionals, and even other members of the federal government. 

Fun fact: I was studying social work before I decided college (and social work) wasn’t right for me. 

My goal was to work directly with abused and neglected children, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t the path for someone with chronic anxiety 😅 

But, child welfare is still very much a passion of mine and something I am not quiet about. 

And the truth is that Child Protective Services does a great job a lot of the time, but a lot of the time they don’t do a great job at all. Stories abound of children being removed or not removed – only for the child to be hurt or even killed. 

So I find it shameful that even one child was removed from the care of their loving parents solely because of cannabis use and nothing else – meanwhile other children have been left in their abusive, non-cannabis using parent’s care to be hurt. 

The American foster care system is burdened and according to a recent study, foster care placements decreased significantly in states with legal cannabis. The study showed at least a 10% decrease in placements. 

And hey, if anyone wants to say parents shouldn’t consume cannabis: I cordially invite you to come be a work-from-home parent of 3 young children more than two years into a global pandemic & encroaching recession and see if you might not like a little green, too 🙂 

Wine is socially acceptable for parents to unwind, so what’s wrong with parents who responsibly consume a plant shown to have positive medicinal benefits?