Findings from a new government-funded analysis of U.S. Army recruits suggest that past cannabis use has relatively little impact on overall performance. Recruits with documented histories of marijuana use were just as likely as their peers to make sergeant, for example, and while they were more likely to leave the Army over drug use, they were less likely to separate as the result of health or performance concerns.
Further, there’s no strong evidence that the continuing trend of legalization across the country has significantly affected recruit outcomes.
“Contrary to expectations, waivered recruits and recruits with a documented history of marijuana or behavioral health conditions are not uniformly riskier across all dimensions,” says the analysis, from the RAND Corporation. “In some cases, they are historically more likely to perform better.”