Alaska has had legal marijuana for almost two years, but the seriously flawed program just took another major hit on Thursday.
In a statement addressed to the roughly 11,000 Alaska-based members of the U.S. Army, Major General Bryan Owens made the Army’s stance on marijuana very clear, and even issued a freedom-stifling new mandate to the state’s soldiers.
The official order reminds Alaska’s soldiers that cannabis remains a Schedule I drug and “those who use, have or distribute marijuana or any derivative on an Alaska base are in violation the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” Maj. Gen. Owens’ order also goes on to ban all Alaska-based soldiers from “attending any marijuana, cannabis or hemp fairs, festivals, conventions or similar events.” Any event that promotes the use, possession, or cultivation of cannabis, including hemp, is now off limits to Army members stationed in America’s largest state.
“These types of events typically involve, but are not limited to, promoting the use of marijuana and disseminating information on the growing and processing of marijuana,” the news release stated. “Attendance at such events is inconsistent with military service and has the potential to adversely impact the health, welfare and good order and discipline for soldiers stationed here.”
The order was a pre-emptive strike by the Army, as they are anticipating a large number of these events taking place in the state’s growing marijuana industry; Alaska just issued its first retail sales license to Fairbanks shop Frozen Budz, with many more are on the way. When the Army noticed marijuana businesses were offering military discounts on tickets or products, Maj. Gen. Owens put his foot down.
“It’s well-meaning people who are trying to reach out because they support the soldiers and their families,” said John Pennell, head of Media Relations for U.S. Army Alaska. “The community here is extremely supportive of the military,” Pennell continued to explain. “In some cases that can be less than helpful. For example we’ve had a couple businesses that are in the process of getting licenses to legally sell marijuana, and they advertised a military discount.”
“We’re trying to make sure that we do everything that we can to keep the soldiers informed of what would get them in trouble,” added Pennell.
Cover Image Courtesy of RT