The U.S. Army Will Start Accepting Former Cannabis Users as Recruits – News

The Trump administration has ordered one of the largest expansions of the U.S. military in recent history, leaving Army recruiters struggling to reach their goal of adding 80,000 new troops. In order to meet this demand, recruiters are lowering the standards for some applicants, offering hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, and granting waivers for former cannabis users. For the fiscal year 2017, the Army spent $424 million on bonuses for new recruits, up from $284 million in the previous year, and drastically higher than the $8.2 million in bonuses offered under the Obama administration in 2014.

Drug use is prohibited in the military, and applicants who have admitted to cannabis use have traditionally been prohibited from joining the Army. Granting waivers to recruits who may have occasionally used cannabis in the past can allow the service to add more recruits without needing to offer as many bonuses, according to Beth Asch, a recruiting expert for the RAND Corp. In the current fiscal year, 506 waivers were granted, up from 191 the previous year.

Maj. Gen. Jeffery Snow, head of the Army’s recruiting command, said that the increase in waivers was also a reflection…

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