GOP-Led Committee Pushes To Ban Cannabis Tests For Military Recruits, Inquires On Psychedelics Trials

Zinger Key Points
  • End cannabis testing for recruits to improve military recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Advocate for DOD oversight on therapeutic psychedelics trials for active-duty personnel.

The GOP-controlled House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel is advancing significant changes to military recruitment policies, while also exploring therapeutic avenues for active-duty personnel.

What happened: The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel unveiled recommendations this week within the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that address both cannabis and psychedelics regulations, reported Marijuana Moment. These provisions are slated for consideration in the upcoming full committee markup, underscoring their significance.

One key aspect of the proposal involves an end to marijuana testing for enlistment or commissioning purposes. This recommendation, an initiative previously spearheaded by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), underscores the collaborative efforts within the GOP. At the time, Gaetz said eliminating cannabis testing could help the military meet its recruitment goals.

Last summer, records obtained by The New York Times revealed that the federal government was struggling to replace its aging workforce and recruiters were responding by loosening drug screening rules.

The Department of Defense's (DOD) acknowledgment of delta-9 THC as a prevalent substance in military drug tests underscores the rationale behind the proposed testing ban. Additionally, certain military branches have already begun relaxing cannabis-related restrictions, signaling a broader shift in policy.

In early 2024, the U.S. Navy began implementing significant changes in its boot camp policy, opting to grant waivers to recruits who test positive for cannabis. This shift was a departure from the Navy's previous zero-tolerance approach, reflecting the evolving legal landscape of cannabis while addressing its own recruiting challenges.

Defense Department’s Clinical Trials On Therapeutic Psychedelics

Along with the cannabis provisions, the subcommittee advocated for robust oversight of DOD-led clinical trials on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. This includes a call for progress updates to ensure the effective establishment of these programs with US House Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL who is championing the cause.

Bipartisan support for psychedelics medicine has surged, in fact surpassing that of marijuana, as evidenced by recent discussions within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Now read: Psychedelics Surpass Cannabis With Unprecedented Bipartisan Support In Congress, Says Top VA Official

Photo: Shutterstock

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