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Prop 64: DoD members liable for use, possession


California recently passed Prop 64, The Adult Marijuana Use Act, making recreational use of marijuana legal in the state. However this does not mean use or possession is legal on Vandenberg Air Force Base or for members of the Armed Forces.  The Department of Defense has a clear position on drug use within the services:  drug use is incompatible with readiness, military discipline, and the unique requirements of our profession.  Despite Prop 64, the federal government still considers marijuana to be a Schedule I drug, meaning it is illegal for military members to use or possess cannabis in any form.  Moreover, use of marijuana is a violation of UCMJ Article 112a, which applies to all military members, both on and off duty and anywhere in the world. 

Vandenberg AFB is a federal installation and when an individual is on VAFB, that person is subject to federal law.  Therefore, it is illegal for anyone, military or civilian, to use or possess marijuana anywhere on the installation, including on-base housing and base property outside the Vandenberg AFB gates.  If cannabis is found on the installation, individuals may be subject to court procedures, base debarment, or other disciplinary action. The 30th Space Wing Commander has reinforced this in a Marijuana Policy for Vandenberg AFB, which states that the use, possession, distribution, manufacture or introduction is against U. S. Code as well as DOD, Air Force and Base policies.

Even for civilian dependents of military members, the use, possession, distribution, manufacture or introduction of marijuana, while on the installation, is illegal.  It can also have repercussions for sponsors.  Sponsors are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure their dependents are aware of, and abide by, all Federal, Air Force, and Vandenberg Air Force Base laws and regulations. 

Military members are also subject to Article 112a of the UCMJ for possession of Schedule I drugs, should those drugs, such as marijuana, or drug paraphernalia be found at their off-base residence. 

The restrictions described above do not only apply to members of the military.  Executive order 12564, Drug-Free Federal Workplace, requires federal employees to refrain from the use of illegal drugs, as defined by federal law, both on and off duty.  Violation of EO 12564 can lead to disciplinary and adverse actions, including removal from federal civil service. 

Federal employees and their dependents must be aware that marijuana can be sold in food, drinks and other forms at locations that are licensed to sell marijuana.  Marijuana in such commercial forms is still illegal as outlined above. To avoid any violations of policy, law, or regulations, all VAFB personnel are advised to avoid locations that have drugs or promote drugs or drug use.  Additionally, personnel should avoid any products that contain hemp or hemp seed oil, such as some shampoos and soap, as Air Force regulations specifically forbid their use.  The military regularly tests for drug use through the Drug Demand Reduction Program.  A positive test result, or other evidence of controlled substance use, can have serious career consequences. 

For questions or concerns please contact 30th Security Forces Squadron at 805-606-4230.