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USN Cannabidiol (CBD) and the Navy

BigRed389

Registered User
None
In fact, there’s zero hand wringing, because DoD is not planning on changing their policy.

I hope you would agree, though, that any BAC beyond trace amounts in someone showing up for duty is problematic.
Nope, completely in agreement - and let's be honest you can call someone unfit for duty for being hung over, BAC is just a nice to have after the fact.

DOD won't have to consider changing their policy unless federal legalization happens.
I don't think that's unrealistic in our lifetimes.

To cut to the chase, there seems to be a mix between whether we really need to on the spot measurement of THC levels to deal with the issue of abuse of a legal substance similar to alcohol/BAC (we sort of don't - within DOD you can subjectively make that determination and go straight to NJP) and identifying habitual illicit drug use (if MJ is federally legalized then authorized within DOD, the issue of varying THC levels/response to routine drug testing with chronic use becomes irrelevant).

There are mounds of scientific research on why the legal limit is set at 0.08. The vast majority of people show impairment operating a motor vehicle at that level, even if they don't show other signs of being drunk. There's even credible research to support lowering it to 0.02 - 0.05.
Sure. I don't disagree with the rationale or wherever the number is set. The point is they picked a certain number, and didn't worry too much about a number of outliers who may respond differently to the data in the studies.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Nope, completely in agreement - and let's be honest you can call someone unfit for duty for being hung over, BAC is just a nice to have after the fact.

DOD won't have to consider changing their policy unless federal legalization happens.
I don't think that's unrealistic in our lifetimes.

To cut to the chase, there seems to be a mix between whether we really need to on the spot measurement of THC levels to deal with the issue of abuse of a legal substance similar to alcohol/BAC (we sort of don't - within DOD you can subjectively make that determination and go straight to NJP) and identifying habitual illicit drug use (if MJ is federally legalized then authorized within DOD, the issue of varying THC levels/response to routine drug testing with chronic use becomes irrelevant).



Sure. I don't disagree with the rationale or wherever the number is set. The point is they picked a certain number, and didn't worry too much about a number of outliers who may respond differently to the data in the studies.
Agreed... mostly. I think people underestimate the impact of long term cognitive effects of chronic use, which are very different from long term effects of alcohol. That would be the most persuasive argument against a more permissive DoD policy.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
I think you probably have to look at relative dosage. A chronic heavy drinker has definite cognitive effects, even if they aren't blacking out. Not trying to make an argument for changing the current status quo, not my interest or intent......but much like your DIPA/TIPAs or hard liquor, pot these days is designed to efficiently F you up. And that isn't even touching on the stuff on the market that has been laced with other substances.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
None
Contributor
I think you probably have to look at relative dosage. A chronic heavy drinker has definite cognitive effects, even if they aren't blacking out. Not trying to make an argument for changing the current status quo, not my interest or intent......but much like your DIPA/TIPAs or hard liquor, pot these days is designed to efficiently F you up. And that isn't even touching on the stuff on the market that has been laced with other substances.
Everclear, Bacardi 151... There is only one reason why a person would buy something with such a high proof. And yet the exchanges still sell it (even in states where that proof isn't legal).
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
Agreed... mostly. I think people underestimate the impact of long term cognitive effects of chronic use, which are very different from long term effects of alcohol. That would be the most persuasive argument against a more permissive DoD policy.
Also mostly agreed. But DOD really only cares about you up to the end of your useful life. I'd say unless the studies (which are probably not really extensive yet) show it has a significantly worse medical impact than alcohol or tobacco, it'll become a non-factor.

Obviously I'm not an expert, and don't really care about the issue to look at studies, but it really does seem to be something that varies upon many factors. There are plenty of examples of high functioning long term users of MJ and I'm sure it's not unusual for someone to know a few.

If legalized generally across at some stage across the nation, and usage becomes commonplace I think DoD will be forced to figure it out. The main barrier to medical research has been its legal status. If it becomes legal, I'm sure there will be a huge number of studies afterwards (and is probably already happening).
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
The factor will be Aircraft maintenance malpractice, for starters.
Even if studies show it has no more significant impact than alcohol or tobacco?
Would it apply to private sector or USG civilian conducted work as well?

If federal legalization happens, eventually (again, not likely near any time any of us will have care about) marijuana effectively becomes like alcohol or tobacco. What do you think an alcohol/tobacco prohibition policy would do to recruiting/retention?
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
Even if studies show it has no more significant impact than alcohol or tobacco?
Would it apply to private sector or USG civilian conducted work as well?

If federal legalization happens, eventually (again, not likely near any time any of us will have care about) marijuana effectively becomes like alcohol or tobacco. What do you think an alcohol/tobacco prohibition policy would do to recruiting/retention?
If fed legalization happens then I agree it will become a recruiting/retention challenge. How many of us would have joined the USN if they said you couldn't have a drink while in the service?

Obviously a problem for later if fed legalization happens but food for thought.
 

johnboyA6E

Well-Known Member
None
They won’t show that.
i'm not so sure. effects of alcohol on the brain have been studied for decades, effects of cannabis aren't as far along.

however, some of the studies appear to show that alcohol causes much more long term damage to the brain than does cannabis.

here is a link to one such study https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320895

excerpt:
...researchers conducted a new analysis on existing brain imaging data. They looked at how marijuana use affects white matter and gray matter in the brain, and how its effects compare with another “drug” that we have become so accustomed to: alcohol
The team notes that any reduction in the size of white or gray matter or a loss in their integrity can lead to impairments in brain functioning.
The study included the brain images of 853 adults who were aged between 18 and 55 years and 439 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. All participants varied in their use of alcohol and marijuana.

The researchers found that alcohol use — particularly in adults who had been drinking for many years — was associated with a reduction in gray matter volume, as well as a reduction in the integrity of white matter.

Marijuana use, however, appeared to have no impact on the structure of gray or white matter in either teenagers or adults.


Based on these findings, the researchers believe that drinking alcohol is likely to be much more harmful to brain health than using marijuana.


this is just one study (that i found after a 30 sec google search). i'm sure there are many other conflicting studies out there.

but the point is, i don't think we can speak in absolutes about this issue, it's evolving.

i'm not a supporter of allowing anyone in a safety related job (flying, maintaining, and controlling aircraft , as well a million other jobs) to be a frequent or habitual user, and have any opportunity to show up to work impaired.

i think, however, at some point in the future (5-10 years maybe?), the social acceptance of cannabis plus the advancements in science will allow intelligent policies that allow certain levels of recreational use in the DOD. i think it might be similar to the Canadian Military policy, but the difference has to be a reliable way to measure impairment that doesn't exist today.

DoD culture is certainly slow to change, but it does eventually change with the times. In this case, maybe it will, maybe it won't
 
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