Legal marijuana has been available in the state of Alaska for almost two years, however, the severely flawed program has yet again taken another major hit this past Thursday. In a statement directed to almost 11,000 Alaska-based members of the U.S. Army, Major General Bryan Owens made the Army’s position on marijuana as clear a day, with going as far as to even have issued a freedom-stifling new mandate to the state’s soldiers.
The official order allows Alaska’s soldiers to reflect on the fact and not forget 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 forbid all soldiers stationed in Alaska from “attending any marijuana, cannabis or hemp fairs, festivals, conventions or similar events.” Any event or gathering that advocates the use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana, as well hemp, is currently 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 attack by the Army, as they are expecting a big amount of these gatherings taking place in the state’s marijuana industry; Alaska just issued its first retail sales license to Fairbanks shop Frozen Budz, with many more soon to follow with the same result. When the Army first caught wind that marijuana businesses were offering military discounts on tickets or products, Maj. Gen. Owens himself had to law down the law.
“It’s well-meaning people who are trying to reach out because they support the soldiers and their families,” stated John Pennell, head of Media Relations for U.S. Army Alaska. “The community here is extremely supportive of the military,” Pennell further 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.
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