by Jonah Bennett
Soldiers in Alaska are officially banned from attending marijuana fairs, even though the drug is legal in the state, the Army stated Thursday.
This ban applies to fairs and conventions and also extends to “hemp” products, as well, the Associated Press reports.
The reason that 11,000 Alaska-based soldiers are banned from these sorts of events is because the events may negatively affect the health and discipline of troops, according to a letter from Army Maj. Bryan Owen. Authorities say the letter is necessary since the military expects cannabis-related events to increase in the state, given that the drug has been legalized there for recreational purposes. Additionally, some suppliers have started offering marijuana discounts to troops.
Moreover, marijuana itself is still banned in the military, as it remains a Schedule I drug on the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act, even though the Obama administration has been lenient on states that wish to go their on way.
At this point, 25 states and the District of Columbia have some form of legal marijuana.
Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational purposes, which means that in Alaska, adults over 21 can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana and own six plants.
But those adults don’t include servicemembers and Owens reminded troops that possession, distribution or even use on a base is still a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In the summer, Fort Wainwright put up signs to remind troops to keep away from marijuana.
“The bottom line is we’re trying to keep our Soldiers out of legal trouble caused by a misunderstanding of the rules,” U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said, according to News-Miner.
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