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Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Army Warns Washington Marijuana Stores To Not Sell To Troops

I was shocked yesterday when I was sitting in my cubicle at work looking at stuff on Twitter, and saw a couple of tweets from attorney Hilary Bricken (Weed Blog attorney of the year!) stating that the Army has sent warning letters to some of her marijuana business clients telling them to refrain from selling marijuana to troops. Below is the tweet:

At first I thought there must have been some kind of misunderstanding. However, a follow up tweet included a redacted version of the letter, which can be seen below:

army marijuana businesses letter

The letter doesn’t include what penalty will occur if the business doesn’t comply. It also doesn’t state what exactly the Army wants from the marijuana business as far as ‘evidence to the AFDCB that you agree to stop selling these substances to military personnel.’ How is that even possible? I’m assuming Army personnel don’t exactly come into the store in full camo and present their military ID at the time of purchase. This letter borders on harassment, and I’m curious to see how things play out.

  • Mark Elrod

    The Navy used to do the same thing in Japan, but they didn’t go after the business owners. They just sent a letter out, telling them not to serve to, or allow service members into their establishments. However, there was nothing they could do to the business if they did so. It is not up to the business to verify someone’s occupation, only if they are of legal age.
    The letter seems threatening, but it’s not. It’s more of a heads up & “asking them” to not serve service members by “telling them” not to. That’s the way the DoD, in general, works. They don’t ask, they “dictate,” even if they don’t have legal ground to stand on. It’s the aggressive posture they always display.

    • davidaquarius

      Exactly. This is a standard military legal request. They don’t alter it because they’re talking to civilians. They know full well that they can’t do anything to the stores but that’s not the point. It would be interesting to see if they wrote the letter on behalf of some locals. Local governments can use this to harass business owners if there’s bad blood. Tacoma and the rest of Pierce County rely a great deal on JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McCord) so a letter like this carries some weight. Just the latest salvo in the War on Weed.

  • Bong Sativa

    The big thing in the military now is huge e-cig rigs with large atomizers & mechanical mods & huge clouds of flavored juices. When drugs & tobacco aren’t allowed on duty the soldiers will always find something to help them pass the time & this is more than just the latest fad. Tens of thousands of soldiers (& sailors) with expensive vaporizers & the ability to purchase cannabis concentrates must make the Army pretty nervous,although that too can be treated with a little legal cannabis. A big thanks to those serve our country protecting our freedom to enjoy marijuana by sacrificing their own ! Let’s all tie a green ribbon around the old oak tree until this injustice is rectified !!

    • Valient

      Fun story.

      National Guard unit was going to support Special Forces by being guard for their prisoners on a base in Afghanistan. Special Forces did IQ tests, questions, and interviews and took ~50% of each of the units from the state.

      A few soldiers decided to be honest when asked about their drug history, as the Special Forces stressed honesty and it wouldn’t be far fetched for them to run lie detector tests.

      One soldier told them that he used cannabis frequently, and as recently as the prior day. He abstained weeks prior to drill to pass any possible tests. He was an extremely smart soldier who passed his pt and marksmanship and was in the top of his high school and college classes. It helped him relax the same way someone would drink a beer after work or on weekends, but without all of the side effects of alcohol. The scientific evidence shows that it doesn’t hurt our bodies at all.

      “But you could be called to duty at any time and you could be high!” they protested. He responded, “I could also be drunk. Extremely drunk. Legally. Or on prescription medication that’s inebriating me.”

      “But it’s illegal still!” – “Based on lies and racism. It doesn’t hurt others for me to use it in the privacy of my own home.”

      “Oh, so I could just steal your money or car because it’s not hurting you?” (Yes, this was actually said by a Special Forces Captain)

      Soldier decided to stop arguing with them about marijuana because they were obviously unreasonable. He explained to them his fairly successful military and personal history and desire to help and protect people.

      2 days later every soldier from the units got drug tested because a couple of them were truthful like that one soldier. That particular soldier passed his drug test, but they decided not to take him. His unit took ~20 extra people who weren’t chosen for support including one who a few months earlier came into drill 2 hours late, drunk, and blew over .09 on a breathalyzer after noon.

      That soldier is now happily honorably discharged and doesn’t intend to serve his country again unless they stop being total hypocrites.

  • Leonard Hester

    This does not mean a thing to the businesses. This is also posted on base to let soldiers know that if a buddy sees him there and snitches him out then he will be disciplined for going “Off limits”. That’s all.

  • pissed off american

    OMFG how about the army does its job and deals with the wars they have started… let the people decide the laws of our country. as far as soldiers smoking weed… that is not the business fault in any way shape or form. Blame the soldiers who are breaking the rules! not the business! just one more way the gov. is trying to screw over the weed business. Im so sick of this, this is america, i was born free and ill die free. smoking weed is my choice!!!!!!! and if i chose to put my ass on the line for this country i CAN SMOKE WEED AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME!!!! hate on me all you want! i Stand for one thing and one thing only. MY FREEDOM. Freedom of choice, something we are losing daily.

    • Denny

      Wrong!
      The Army doesn’t start wars, politicians start wars

  • Insane, unconstitutional, and unenforceable.

    • Denny

      You’re totally wrong!

  • Robert Ireland

    hell, my guys would clean off the shelves when vick’s inhalers where restocked. They eat them, because it’s a form of speed for drivers doing long hauls. the Army is clueless. a little chlorox in your pee bottle, wipes it out. same thing used in essence to purify water: Chloride!

  • Robert Ireland

    air force pilots are still fed methamphetamine by the Air Force to keep them alert and aggressive in the air, the jfed downers to get them back down. this is old news. The services want to determine how they poison you, and cannabis is the opposite of methamphetamine, opens their minds to question what the hell they thought they were doing joining to murder for banksters and when they get back they are dumped by the system, their usefulness played out.

  • Nathaniel

    Or what? This is a bully tactic from a paper tiger. What precisely does any branch of the military think they are going to be able win in a public court? Do they even want to attempt to swim in those waters? The precedent set when they lose would open up a can of worms no J.A.G. lawyer would dare come near 30 clicks of without recoiling in fear from what is to follow. The armed forces can’t very well drag citizens/private business into military tribunals for providing a state legal product, so what do they hope to gain from this overly aggressive position?

    • Denny

      They can order nearly anything they want when it comes to active duty military personnel.

  • Tony Aroma

    That letter refers to “substances similar to marijuana,” twice. It does not actually say anything about selling marijuana. Are they talking about Spice? Doesn’t sound like this letter was sent to a dispensary. The only penalty for not complying appears to be that service members will not be allowed in the store.

    • reefer

      here in pot clubs in SF, I’ve seen lots of jars with this green, bud-like material that is strikingly similar to marijuana in appearance, but the similarities end when you try and smoke it!

    • It is a form letter and was written before shops could legally sell the real stuff. This is the way government forms, especially military forms, work. They continue to be used even after they are obsolete.

      That being said, I would love to see what happens when the store owners reply truthfully stating that they have verified that they have no synthetic cannabis products on their premises and do not intend to sell any synthetic cannabis products in the future.

  • The Great Satan

    Ahem..paranoia much?
    All this means is that we will prevent you from doing business with our personnel.
    Ok so they lose a couple bucks.
    The military has no grounds on which to act against civilian business unless they were to ship prohibited products onto bases.
    It’s just them asking nicely “puuhleease don’t sell to troops” in a stern military voice.
    Relax.

  • Bird

    These letters are very common and in proximity to military instalations there are normally a handful of off limits places to include strip bars or whore houses, bars that have frequent fights or drug problems and accually a lot of used car lots and payday loan places. here in spain they have even gone so far as to ban exact GPS locations becuse the ownes would just change the name of the bar so the standing rull of dont go to bar “X” became thats fine because now Iam going to bar “Y”. I’m actually shocked to hear this is the first instance of this happening as the military has been on full alert with the legalization of cannabis way before the first store opened and even before when medical was legal in the handful of states that it is legal in. There is a huge military presence in CA for example. I’m waiting on the shit storm that is going to follow when congress removes hemp from the list of scedualled narcotics this year. as of right now there are postes of hemp products available that warn service members not to consume them due to the potential to pop on a piss test and on this matter the armed forces does not fuck around. Admition to drug use or poping on a piss test is 0 tolerance to a fault. in so much as if you belive your drink was spiked in a club it’s better for you to remain silent about it than to report the incedent because even through no fault of your own you consumed possible unknown drugs you still consumed drugs. exceptions to this rule are if you were the victim of rape. I knew a shit hot kid who came out of boot camp and was well liked who came forward and admitted to mistakenly taking his wifes hydrocodone because he thought it was motrin. 2 weeks later he found himself with out a job. good for him for being honest but now he is stuck with an other than honorable discharge because he had the moral conviction to do what he thought was right.

  • Cyndysub

    Uh, the military is not in control of citizens in public places.

    • Denny

      The military “owns” your life, both on and off duty, while serving in uniform on active duty.

      • Cyndysub

        I know that. I used the word citizens that denotes civilians. Read!

        • Denny

          Military members are citizens, even in public places.

          • Cyndysub

            The military still owns your ass and your not considered a CIVILIAN while in the service. So, STFU.

  • amyshaston

    PLENTY of MMJ shops give military discounts.

    THAT’s how this got out, and THIS is what the letter is going after–the first lead. Dispensaries, don’t offer veterans a discount and you won’t get this weird letter.

    • Denny

      Actually, a lot of dispensaries offer military discounts–I’ve used the same one for the past few years that has always offered this type of discount.

  • robb32

    considering the military doesn’t have law enforcement ability in peacetime Amefrica..it should be interesting

  • Jared French

    I think this has to do with an increase in sexual positions other than the missionary; seemingly, a direct correlation to the consumption of THC.

  • Sinclair

    I guess all active military personnel need to be in uniform at all times. I have a great deal of respect more any person who joins the military and I would expect them to police themselves but I also believe that if you are 18 and willing to die for your country you should be legal to drink alcohol or enjoy Marijuana especially if you have P.T.S.D..or even just been in a shirt storm defending our great country. Legalize it America…..

  • Silverado

    Or else they’ll break the new federal law barring federal intervention in MMJ states and send in the feds back to do some new no-knock raids, this time against the state owned stores. So what if that’s now against the law?? When did that ever stop them? Anyway, that should be quite a show and accompanying news article I’m sure. The left hand of the state of Washington against the right wing war mongering criminals in the other Washington that hate what they’ve done here anyway. Sens.Patty Murray and Maria whats-her-name included. Yep, should be quite a show!!

  • Nat Turner

    Just another example of the ignorance we have voted into office! They better piss test everyone as they return from town!

  • Flower

    Sorry, Colonel David L. Chase, but your authority stops at the outer perimeter of your camp/fort/base. What happens outside of that perimeter is none of your concern. If you don’t want your soldiers to buy marijuana don’t let them off the reservation. It is not the duty of Americans nor American businesses to baby-sit your charges. If you are too incompetent, too lazy to do your job and tend to your soldiers, don’t come whining to us to do your job for you.

    But, as a final question as to your sanity, Col. Chase, why would marijuana sellers give a care if you have declared them “off limits” to your group of babes in uniform? To prove that they won’t sell to a soldier so that you will allow soldiers to enter the store and stand around doing nothing is kind of stupid don’t you think?

    • SniperWolfOmega

      This is kind wrong. he does have control of what his soldiers do off post (“Reservation”) for once a military member signs their enlistment contract they agree to become military property for a period of time, how ever long their contract is for. hence, the need for a contract in the first place. For him to send out this message is letting the business know that that place of business has been placed on the off limits list and that the military members under his command are no longer allowed to attend said venue. Also, your incorrect again in your statement,

      ” If you are too incompetent, too lazy to do your job and tend to your soldiers,”

      Its not his “Job” to tend to the military members. that falls solely on the military members them selves. it is his responsibility as a commander to enforce the governing policies put in place by the department of defense when a military member violates said policies.

      As for marijuana sellers, they should care as to whom they sell to in a situation like this being as most posts within a city limits are on very good speaking terms if not friends with their elected officials. that being said, it would be to hard for the command to say a few things about how the business operated that could have an investigation ordered and eventually have the business license of that establishment revoked and the business shut down. If i was a dealer in the herbal practition i would definitely care about my bottom line more then a few people in uniform.

  • Phil

    I’d like to address this directly… So at least some people know the truth. This happens anytime an establishment is placed on the military’s banned list. The military sends these letters off, not as a threat, but just as notification that they have been placed on the banned list for military personnel. Nothing will happen if they don’t stop selling pot except that they’ll remain on the banned list. The banned list is just a piece of paper that gets sent to all military personnel informing them of places and establishments that are off limits for us. The only people who can get in trouble or face consequences because of this paper are active duty military. I see how the letter can look threatening from the outside but it is merely an informational letter sent to the establishment informing them of their status with the military.

    • Thank you for explaining something that should have been obvious just by reading the letter. Apparently however it is not, judging by the fact that even the lawyer overreacted.

  • Deb Ackley

    Man the torpedoes?
    Ships ahoy…Landmark..

  • Guest

    Hopefully all that want is a signature that he’ll put up signs saying “Military Restricted Store” and then remind the guys to go. But, that could escalate. I’d relocate. The armed forces have strict policies about what they consider to be drugs.They are also very obsessive people so you wouldn’t want to offend. Just like police, the army forces profile is the flip opposite of a bad criminal. So, take care of his safety first and number one! If you let them in the store and offend them or they take umbridge you’ll have a fight on your hands. If you don’t let them in and the sign offends them they might come and fight you too. I would move.

  • me

    this article seems inflammatory at best. this is the military simply letting the supplier know they are on the banned list and will remain that way unless they do xyz. they aren’t threatening by any means just letting them know. it just seems like a formal letter they are required to send to inform the business of their current status. again i say no biggy. it’s not like there will be fines leveraged or law suits flown if they sell to military members. the military personnel are the ones required to follow that mandate not the business.

  • 17 21 37

    The letter from the Armed Forces Disciplinary Board doesn’t say anything
    about selling marijuana…it states prohibited sales of “substances
    similar to marijuana…” A quick Google search shows the many types of
    stores on this list – many for selling SPICE a synthetic marijuana. I
    wonder why the play on words? This is definitely not a list any business
    wants to be on. The military is a very powerful
    presence in small communities where their economy is dependent on the
    millions of dollars spent locally. In reviewing AR-190-24, The board
    must study and take appropriate action…Off-limits restrictions should
    be invoked only when there is substantial information that an
    establishment or area frequented by Armed Forces personnel presents
    conditions, which adversely affect their health, safety, welfare, morale
    or morals… I’m with you Johnny Green – I doubt military personnel are
    rolling into the store in uniform frequently buying marijuana. Could
    be another feather in the cap for Hilary Bricken, preventing her client
    from getting on this list.