The Navy, reversing its forgiving approach to recruits who test positive for marijuana use, has decided that they will be barred from entering the service.
``You test positive for marijuana use - you're gone,' Vice Adm. J. Michael Boorda, the Navy's chief of personnel, said Friday.It shows an increasing lack of tolerance for drug use in the military, Boorda said. ``We don't want to lose the battle against drugs.'
Adm. Carlisle A.H. Trost, the chief of naval operations, sent the anti-drug message to his recruiting commanders earlier this month. The new policy will go into effect Feb. 1.
Previously, the Navy has given a second chance to recruits who tested positive for marijuana use in boot camp. They could enter the service only if periodic drug tests showed they no longer used drugs.
The policy was designed to give recruits a chance to change. But the Navy barred recruits who tested positive for cocaine and other hard drugs.
All the services began testing recruits for drugs and alcohol in 1988.
The Air Force allows recruits to admit to marijuana use, but once they are signed up they must quit using any drugs, said Maj. Lou Figueroa, a spokesman. Afterward, those who admit to drug use are released from the service, he said.
Army spokeswoman Paige Eversol said Army policy allows anyone who tests positive for marijuana to try again six months later to enter the service. If they test positive for cocaine the first time, they must wait a full year before reapplying.