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View Diary: Life for pot versus a bonus latte for major Arson (83 comments)

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  •  Here's my story (23+ / 0-)

    I joined the Army reserves in 2005.  I had an arrest on my record for pot possession and I have never stopped smoking.  I haven't been the best soldier in the world, but my pot smoking has nothing to do with that (if anything, its the alcohol).  After six and a half years and multiple drug tests that I knew I should fail, but for some reason never got in trouble for, they finally got me just as I was ready to reenlist and get promoted.  Let me emphasize that the weekend my promotion packet was approved was the same weekend I failed a drug test for pot.  I was ready to reenlist, get promoted, and give up the weed, but prohibition finally caught up with me.

    If the drug test is supposed to "ensure military readiness and fitness", how was this pothead able to get a 99 on the ASVAB (131 GT score), serve successfully for a year in a war zone, and get recommended for promotion?  I have a hearing pending to determine whether I get a General or an Other than Honorable (i.e. Dishonorable) discharge.  Honorable is off the table.

    Mind you, I have gone months without showing up to drill and didn't get kicked out.  I've shown up half drunk, and been called out on it, without any formal disciplinary action.  Most of the time I've been in the reserves (including the entire year in Iraq) I've been overweight by Army standards.  I've had multiple fitness test failures.  None of these things were considered bad enough to kick me out of the Army.  But the fact that a drug test showed that at some point within the previous month I smoked pot was enough to immediately begin separation proceedings.  This is wrong.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:18:53 AM PST

    •  WRONG!!! Multiplied by millions of times (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbr, Bisbonian, Woody, Turbonerd, slothlax, pengiep

      wrong. Oh, and way to common.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so are you arguing that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you should have been dishonorably discharged or that you should have been promoted?

      •  I think he is pointing out (13+ / 0-)

        that the whole thing is ridiculous.

        People who relax at night with a joint rather than a beer are demonized and accused of not being able to function.

        WRONG.  I've known too many very successful people who used pot to relax and some use it to keep from the big bad drug, alcohol.

        You can smoke pot until you are silly and maybe have a headache but you can still function and snap out of it.

        Alcohol - is the root of so much death in America, especially when one uses alcohol and then gets into a car and drives, picks up a gun, gets mad at his spouse for not looking at him the "right way" or whatever.

        Prohibition of pot is economics......  

        The DEA
        The Pharmacuetical Companies
        The Alcohol Industry
        The Lawyers
        The Judges
        The Prisons for Profit

        It all adds up to continued illegality for something I'd much rather have legal than alcohol.  People who have been drinking can be quite unstable and do some crazy things (I know, been there, done that).

        And if you were a cop - would you rather arrest a bunch of people stoned on pot or drunk on alcohol?  Yeah, the stoners are easy targets.

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:45:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know plenty of people (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep, mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler, slothlax

          who did fine and smoked as well.

          i do disagree that you can snap out of it if needed, at least not in my experience, and not watching people I know. their thinking was impaired as if they were drunk when it came to decisions, driving, talking, walking, etc, which is why i feel alcohol and marijuana should be treated similarly.

          i just couldn't figure out which side he was arguing, that the military should have enforced its rules earlier, or that the rules are dumb.

          •  Its a fair question (5+ / 0-)


            The rules are dumb, as evidenced by the fact that I use the substance but was able to get a promotion recommendation. The assumption is that smoking pot is inherently bad, which in my experience is patently untrue.

            But if this is a rule they want to take seriously, then don't give out free passes along the way then all of a sudden come down on my head after I've been around for six years.

            I'm no martyr. I knowingly broke a rule and was caught. I will be punished and thats the way it works. But I just think the whole thing is absurd.

            There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

            by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:02:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i can agree with that (0+ / 0-)

              I think what you're trying to say is that they were inconsistent. if they're going to let it slide, let it slide; if they're going to be strict, be strict.

              •  Just be competent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Its not like my unit was being lenient, they were never notified of my positive results.  Its hard for me to justify getting punished for this thing that supposedly makes you incompetent when the Army wasn't competent enough to do anything about it the first three times they had me dead to rights.

                All that said, given the illegality of the substance and the need to cavort with a criminal element to get it, there are valid reasons beyond the direct effect of the drug to discourage its use in the military.  But ultimately that just circles back the underlying problem of making something illegal that shouldn't be.

                There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

                by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:31:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093, mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler, KenBee

          the banks, who would have gone under without the profits from money laundering.

          the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

          by happymisanthropy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:29:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, there's two even bigger (6+ / 0-)

            The Timber Industry.  And the Textile Industry.

            Hemp could effectively drop the bottom out of cotton, paper and synthetic textiles industries if grown commercially in the United States.  It's better for the land, rapidly renewable and consumes no petroleum products (other than those needed to run machinery for harvest and processing).  It makes a strong and soft fiber product which is biodegradable -- read that as cloth and all kinds of paper products.  It can be used to make fiberboard and plywood and pressboard and rope.  It grows just about anywhere in North America.  It does not require heavy-duty chemical fertilizers.

            Hemp and its by-products -- one of which is NOT weed, which is another variant altogether -- could quite literally relegate King Cotton and Big Timber (which, by the way, means Koch Industries) to the sidelines within a decade if it were legal.

            The threat of both THC-bearing and non-THC bearing hemp is so great that to preserve the economic status quo, all variants of the plant must remain illegal -- which is a classic example of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

            The ground is being cut away around the opponents of hemp.  Hemp oil shows up in soaps and toiletries.  Hemp cloth and clothing in trendy stores, all imported.   When I was growing up, you might have seen a few hemp bracelets in a natural food store or head shop, but nothing more.  Now you can by hemp towels, sheets, shirts, underwear...

            The medicinal uses of marijuana are becoming undeniable.  As a recreational drug, it's less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.  As a pain and nausea management tool, it has few equals in pharmacy.

            The push to legalize it and tax the heck out of it is growing.  It's a source of revenue we've ignored for decades.

            Someday, our descendants will shake their heads at our stupidity the way we shake our heads at the people who believed that bathing would make you sick.

            History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

            by stormicats on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:03:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  They used to call that "Undesirable" Discharge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      meaning the Armed Forces didn't want you around because you were a major nuisance in some way.

      The levels below that are "Bad Conduct" (they caught you doing something seriously illegal) and "Dishonorable" (which really means they didn't want to waste a firing squad on you). And those require a full court-martial.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:34:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you were at you End of Obligated Service (5+ / 0-)

      I don't think they can keep you past that date for administrative action, unless they've changed the UCMJ and MCM (in all fairness it's been a while since I've been involved with either).  If you were re-enlisting, couldn't you just elect to take a discharge, get an entry in your record for the Article 15 proceeding and an honorable disc?  I don't think they can keep you past your End of Service to run an ADMIN board on you.  And if they can't they can't find you unfit to get anything but an Honorable. Like I said, it's been years since I played these games, but I used that to a good sailor's advantage once who got popped on a test right before he was getting out.  

      The CO was pissed that this kid, who was a high-performer and had been Command Advanced to E-4 got popped on a random sweep for PRP (Personnel Reliability Program, the nuke handlers) members.  He was getting out anyhow, because his rate was closed to advancement above E-4 at the time and he wanted to go to college.  So the CO orders an Admin board, which of course finds him worthy of an OTH. Problem was, that his End of Active Obligated Service (EAOS) was like a week away and the board results had to be approved by message by the Bureau in DC.  Somehow, and to this day, I don't know how, his paperwork was lost until he was on the COD back to the mainland and discharge at the Naval Station at Treasure Island.  By the time the ADSEP approval came back, he was a civilian and home with an honorable discharge and an RE-1 reenlistment code if he chose to ever come back.

      One mistake should not cost someone their whole life.  Period.  Especially a young kid from Mississippi who wanted to go to college.  

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by jo fish on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, my ETS is March 11 (0+ / 0-)

        I have a board hearing this weekend.  So we'll see what happens.  This is the reserves we're talking about, I could definitely see it taking them too long to get the paperwork through before I ETS regardless of how the board rules.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:34:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Best of luck with it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sadly, the Admin board process is stacked against the "accused", I hope it goes well for you.

          A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

          by jo fish on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:56:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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