Marijuana legalization has been a big hit in the state of Colorado, leading to rejoice from fans of Mountain Dew and Funyuns statewide. However, not everyone can bust out their rolling papers and gravity bongs just yet; military members in our state are still at risk of reprimand if they partake of pot. According to United States Department of Defense (DOD) regulations, federal prohibition on marijuana still applies to ALL members of the military, active or reserve.
Despite Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana use, members of the military are still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), meaning that they could face criminal prosecution for drug use, possession, distribution or manufacture. According to the DOD, “legislative initiatives of States, District, or Territories are not binding on the military in the administration of military justice.” In layman’s terms, federal law trumps state law no matter what. Colorado’s voters can’t tell the U.S. Military what to do.
While no one thinks that soldiers are hot-boxing their Humvees, our military men and women should take care when it comes to their recreational activities outside of work. No one is infallible, but soldiers face scrutiny from all angles: from the public, from their superiors, from the media. It doesn’t matter if you live in Colorado, or Washington, or anywhere marijuana is legal; if you are in the military, weed is forbidden. If you are caught possessing or using it, you can be punished.
DUI Defense Matters – DUI Attorneys for Alcohol and Drug Related Offenses
Did You Know?: Illicit drug use is lower among U.S. military personnel than among civilians. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)