Air Force to resest for THC
Air Force to resest for THC

Flying High with Goose, Maverick, and Stoner - Air Force to Allow for a THC Drug Test Retake If You Test Positive

The Air Force is relaxing their drug test application process and allowing for retesting if THC is found

Posted by:
Laurel Leaf on Friday Oct 14, 2022

Air Force THC drug test redo

Until recently, potential members of the U.S. Air Force who tested positive for THC were immediately discharged from the service, sometimes even if they had used cannabis months earlier. However, the American military is now having trouble enlisting new personnel. So much so that certain military branches seem to be reevaluating their policy of broadly rejecting recruits who test positive for THC.


According to the latest publication, the United States Air Force will launch a two-year pilot program that will give applicants a second opportunity if they initially tested positive for THC. According to the statement, the Department of the Air Force will permit a retest for potential recruits who test positive for THC during the entrance medical evaluation at the Military Entrance Processing Station.

The US Navy recenlty updated their cannabis policy for new recruits, as well.

The Pilot Program

The pilot program follows current DoD policy and incorporates knowledge gained from the Navy and Army, which have already implemented comparable pilot projects. A first THC test result that was positive in the past would have resulted in a lifetime ban from the DAF.


According to, the new pilot program will permit candidates who fail the test for THC to retest after 90 days if given a THC waiver, according to The second test must be passed before candidates can join the DAF. Previously, a candidate who tested positive for THC would have been barred from entering the DAF.


If applicants satisfy a set of criteria, they are deemed qualified for a waiver. Applications for THC waivers are examined at various stages of scrutiny before being approved.

  • No Category 1 or 2 moral violations.

  • Is medically fit for service

  • Has a high school diploma

  • Scored 50 or above on the Armed Forces Qualification Test.


The U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, U.S. Space Force, and Air National Guard are all affected by this new policy, which is effective immediately. Once enrolled in the waiver program, participants must abide by the DAF policy on drug use and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. According to the press release, DAF will gather and examine data over the following two years to evaluate the feasibility of implementing this as a continuous adjustment to DAF recruitment and accessions policy."


According to Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, applicants who test positive for THC at the MEPS, will never be allowed to join the Air Force or the Space Force. However, because more states are legalizing marijuana, more applicants test positive for THC.


Thomas added that the pilot program is about being able to make wise decisions based on societal norms and current regulations and how to create a procedure that more closely adheres to the country's rules. However, he cautioned that the program is not meant to be a free pass for recruits, underscoring that drug use has no place in the United States Air Force.


The pilot program is not for individuals who lied to their recruiter, smoked cannabis, went to MEPS the following day or the following week, and tested positive. This isn't for them, remarked Thomas. He argued that the regulation is meant to help prospective Airmen and Guardians if recruiting commanders think the positive test was caused by the residual effects of THC in their system or accidental exposure.


Thomas added that those who test positive won't always be allowed to retest; the waiver program only allows the U.S Air Force to have more discretion."


Difficulty In Recruitment

According to military leaders and MPs, the recruiting environment for the armed forces is at its most challenging in decades. According to figures released this week, the Army's enlistment fell 15% (15,000 soldiers) short of its recruitment target this year. All military branches are battling to fill the shortage of young individuals who are physically and mentally prepared to enlist. Every other service had to accept applicants with delayed admission to reach their quotas, even though the Army was the only branch to fall short of its goal.


Ann Stefanek, Department of the Air Force spokeswoman, confirmed that this pilot program is one of the new avenues for candidates previously rejected from the military. She added that potential recruits who eventually qualify must abide by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and DAF policy, prohibiting drug usage if candidates test negative for THC 90 days after applying and enrolling.


The military generally takes a zero-tolerance posture toward illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. However, because of its growing acceptance and legalization, many branches, including the Navy and the Army, have recently started giving waivers for select cannabis users.


Only 11 states—Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Texas—forbid cannabis. However, a 2021 study by the military think tank Rand Corp found that more than 50% of freshmen come from states where cannabis is already lawful for adult or medical usage. Stefanek continued by saying that the Air Force might decide to make the pilot program a permanent policy adjustment for hiring and evaluation.


Relaxing the THC restriction might increase enlistment in the upcoming new recruiting year, which began on October 1. According to a Gallup survey from August, 16% of Americans claim to actively smoke marijuana, while 11% of American adults claim to smoke cigarettes currently.


Not The First Waiver

According to a recent story from, the U.S. Air Force increased the number of medical waivers it grants prospective recruits who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes back in 2017. This helped the service grow. Other service branches are also taking similar actions.


The Navy started its two-year trial program in April of last year, under which candidates who meet all other requirements but test positive for THC at MEPS may be granted a waiver. They can enroll in boot camp with the release after a 90-day waiting time. The program is said to last until April 2023. Waivers to permit a recruit's return have already been made available if a recruit tests positive for THC while basic training or Recruit Training Command.


Similar to the Army, if applicants test positive for THC at MEPS, there is a 90-day waiting period. They can also apply for a waiver to enlist in the military. On the other hand, a recruit is permanently barred from entering the Army if they test positive for any substance on their second test.



All military departments have historically struggled to meet their recruiting objectives, highlighting the need for greater flexibility in the hiring process. Particularly the Air Force fell short of its Active Duty goal for the fiscal year 2022 and missed the mark for the Guard and Reserve.


According to polls, the recruiting population for the service is more inclined than ever to have used marijuana once or frequently. Hence, the agency will evaluate the statistics and decide whether to make the policy permanent once the initial pilot program has been running for two years.





What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: