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62nd Airlift Wing JAG issues reminder on marijuana law

62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 04:16PM June 19th, 2014

Due to Washington state’s passage of Initiative 502, the measure legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state, and with retail outlets soon opening throughout the state, the 62nd Airlift Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate issued the following reminders for service members and Department of Defense civilian employees:

Initiative 502 facts

n Adults age 21 and older may legally possess one ounce of marijuana.

n Marijuana retail outlets will be regulated, licensed and taxed.

n Retail outlets will be in highly-populated areas: 44 in Tacoma, four in Lakewood and 34 in Pierce County.

n Marijuana use in public will be a civil infraction.

n New “drugged” driving laws for marijuana-impaired drivers take effect.

n Selling or distributing unlicensed marijuana is still illegal.

n Personal grow operations are illegal, except for medical cannabis.

Impact to service members

n Nothing. The Air Force and Army have a zero-tolerance policy on drug use.

n Drug abuse is incompatible with military service.

n Possession of marijuana is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

n Service members are subject to the UCMJ 24 hours per day, on duty or off.

n Washington state law does not provide a defense to UCMJ violations.

n Consequences of violating the drug policy (Article 112a): dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances; confinement of up to five years for possession of 30 grams; confinement of up to 2 years for possession of less than 30 grams.

Impact on DOD civilians

n Marijuana remains illegal under federal law for dependents, employees, contractors and visitors, while on the installation, to use, possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana.

n Civilians will be subject to federal prosecution for mariju-ana-related offenses that occur on JBLM, including in on-base quarters

n Every person entering JBLM is subject to search.

n Civilian employees will remain subject to drug testing if it is a condition of their employment.