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Coast Guard Issues Order Barring Active Duty Members From Visiting Marijuana Shops

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The U.S. Coast Guard issued an order on Tuesday clarifying that active duty service members cannot use marijuana—or even enter a cannabis shop—regardless of state law.

They are also barred from participating in “any event or with any entity that sells, promotes, celebrates, encourages, or seeks to further the use of marijuana and illegal THC-based products.”

The order states that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) prohibits the consumption, possession and manufacturing of marijuana, and that Coast Guard personnel should “maintain a lifestyle that neither condones the use of illegal substances nor exposes them to accidental intake of illegal drugs.”

Beyond refraining from visiting dispensaries or attending cannabis-related events, that also includes not owning or investing in a marijuana business or having a “close association with marijuana growth or distribution commercial enterprises.”

Engaging in those activities would be “contrary to our Core Values and our role as a federal law enforcement agency,” Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz wrote.

The new order, first reported by Military.com, takes the ban a step further, stipulating that “Coast Guard military personnel are prohibited from knowingly visiting, entering, remaining in, or patronizing or otherwise conducting any kind of business with any establishment whose primary and prominent purpose is the growth, manufacture, sale or distribution of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products in any form for either medical or recreational purposes that violate federal law.”

“This prohibition applies to fixed locations, mobile dispensaries, and online or delivery services,” it states. “This prohibition preserves good order and discipline and ensures the health and mission readiness of all Coast Guard military personnel.”

Because the rule isn’t explicitly included under the UCMJ, it doesn’t carry penalties specific to the violation. However, violating a general order is punishable by up to two years in prison, forfeiture of pay and allowance and a dishonorable discharge.

Coast Guard officials said that no particular event prompted the branch to issue the order, though Cmdr. Matt Rooney told Military.com that there has been “a shift in the social norms, especially because of the increased proliferation and availability of cannabis-based products.”

Read the Coast Guard’s full marijuana order below: 

Coast Guard general order by Marijuana Moment on Scribd

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Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based senior editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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