Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sailors Cautioned After Legalization of Marijuana

Sailors Cautioned After Legalization of Marijuana
Jan 02, 2013
Navy News
by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vanessa David

EVERETT, Wash. -- Although the state of Washington has recently updated the law on the use of marijuana, essentially decriminalizing use for civilians, Zero Tolerance drug policy regulations remain unaffected for Sailors.

The Zero Tolerance drug policy was implemented after a fatal crash of an EA-6B Prowler on board USS Nimitz in 1981, killing 14 crew members and injuring 45 others.

Autopsies were performed and several members of the flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana.

Following this discovery, then-President Ronald Reagan instituted a Zero Tolerance drug policy across all of the U.S. Armed Forces.

As a result regular, random urinalysis drug checks are conducted on all military personnel.

"Marijuana can stay in the system for up to 30 days depending on the person's metabolism, dosage and method of consumption," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class David Johnson. "Because it's lipid-based, it can stay in the fat cells for a long period of time, whereas water-based substances would flow through very quickly."

"Being under the influence of marijuana can result in slow reaction speed and poor judgment, and can negatively affect operational success," said Legalman 1st Class Michael Lightsey. "In the case of an emergency, people could get hurt. You don't want anyone to be high while operating a jet."
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PBS Project Carrier USS Nimitz

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