The Air Force’s pilot program, which allows potential enlistees who initially test positive for THC to retest and possibly enlist, has seen higher interest than anticipated. The program expected 50 cases annually but ended up granting 165 waivers in its first year after candidates retested negative. This surge in interest comes as the Air Force tries to bolster recruitment after falling short of its target numbers. The new policy offers another chance to candidates while still upholding the Air Force’s stance against drug usage.
- The Air Force’s THC retest waiver program received over three times the anticipated applicants in its first year, with 165 candidates granted waivers.
- The service fell short by about 11% in its active-duty enlisted recruiting goals for the past fiscal year, the first such shortfall since 1999.
- Gen. Christopher Amrhein highlighted that the new policy allowed the recruitment of an additional 165 high-quality airmen for FY23.
- Despite the growing acceptance of marijuana in various states, the substance remains illegal at the federal level, and the military maintains a zero-tolerance stance for many drugs.
- More than half of all new recruits hail from states where marijuana is legal, at least for medical use.