© 2023 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Maine National Guard Head Concerned Marijuana Law Will Hamper Recruitment

AUGUSTA, Maine - In his annual state of the Maine National Guard address, Brig. Gen. Doug
Farnham told lawmakers there will likely be future guard deployments around the world.  

But Farnham says voters' recent decision to legalize recreational marijuana will make Guard recruitment more difficult.

“Marijuana use complicates enlisting in the military, can affect the ability to get security clearances and cannot be used by military members. As we move forward I am concerned that it will become even more difficult for many to make good choices.”

Farnham says 70 percent of 17 to 24 year-olds eligible to join the guard cannot because they use illegal drugs, as defined by Congress, have a criminal record, haven’t completed minimum schooling requirements,  or are obese and not physically fit to serve. 

Farnham did thank lawmakers for passing a program that helps Guard members go to college. He said with all the turmoil around the world it's likely there will be future national guard deployments.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.