Conclusions from a unique government-funded study of U.S. Army servicemen and servicewomen suggest that prior cannabis use has almost little-to-no impact on performance. Recruits with recorded accounts of cannabis use were just as plausible as their comrades to make colonel, for instance, and while they were more inclined to leave the Army due to drug use, they were less plausible to diffuse as the result of fitness or production matters.
Continuing, there’s no firm evidence that the ongoing trend of cannabis legalization across the nation has directly affected recruit results.
The approximately 202-page study focuses on waivers, which permit the Army to reevaluate candidates who are originally invalidated for a litany of reasons. Among the reasons is cannabis consumption. Candidates who test positive for cannabis or with a recorded history of cannabis use—including criminal records and self-exposure—require waivers to register. The same is affirmed for individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, or clinical depression, who in some instances may not even temper a waiver.
‘The United States Army inquired RAND’s Arroyo Center, its only federally funded research and development facility, to investigate the performance of the soldiers who were granted waivers. “The United States Army was also concerned about the extent to which raising the share of soldiers who are granted waivers (or who have a known history of cannabis use, ADHD, or depression, or anxiety) affects the overall production of that augmentation partner,’ the report summarily states.
The study collected records on each recruit who enlisted in the Army from the fiscal year 2001 to the fiscal year 2012, tracing them until 2018. Scientists looked at ‘the application waiver review process via enlistment until either severance or reenlistment.’
Mostly, the performance of a company of recruits ‘would develop relatively little if waivers were extended,” researchers discovered. Aggregate influences would be relatively minute for the augmentation cohort as a group, and, in some manners, the effects are enhancements, not liabilities, in overall performance.
RAND scholars recognized those findings worked “contrary to expectations,” while other inferences strengthened their existing perspective.
The study found that a high-school diploma or equivalent “usually alleviates, at least somewhat,” those negative outcomes.
The study should curb concerns that state-level progress to legalize cannabis have hurt the essence of new recruits. “The legalization of cannabis has not succeeded in producing worse recruit consequences,’ it says with certainty. The trend might be encouraging, though it’s still too early to call.
At this time, new recruits can request waivers for positive analyses for cannabis during their physical exam, in which event they must wait 90 days. Once the 90-day window has passed, the applicant must test again, producing a negative result. Statements can also be petitioned for misdemeanor punishments for possession of cannabis or cannabis-related paraphernalia (provided the recruits pass the drug test examination) and misdemeanor sentences for driving while under the influence of cannabis.
Regarding cannabis respectively, the study revealed that there is no statistically significant correlation between a recorded history of cannabis use and a new recruit’s overall performance in many cases. Despite this, in the cases where the group estimated a substantive and statistically meaningful effect, the calculations generally reveal that these applicants are more likely to have disadvantageous outcomes.
Applicants with a recorded history of using cannabis and a non-traffic crime waiver, for instance, are 33 percent more likely to depart from the U.S. Army thanks to wrongdoing regarding something aside from drug abuse. Additionally, 73 percent were found more likely for drug misuse especially. They’re also 80 percent more likely to undergo a demotion and 16 percent more likely to receive a complimentary person standing.