MILITARY DRUG TESTS GET TOUGHER ON “SPICE” USE

MILITARY DRUG TESTS GET TOUGHER ON “SPICE” USE

The military is getting tougher on testing for the use of “spice.” The Defense Department has changed its urinalysis tests to include the synthetic marijuana substance known as spice on its list of drugs to screen for. The move comes after an internal Pentagon study that found that about 2.5 percent, or about 35,000 service members, were probably smoking the widely available drug. Starting today, spice will be included with the traditional list of prohibited drugs, such as real marijuana, cocaine and others, said a Pentagon spokesman. Any service members who test positive for spice will be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and would likely face a form of non-judicial punishment and possible separation. For years, spice and similar products such as “K-2” were sold quietly, and openly, in some smoke shops and convenience stores. Spice is made by spraying or soaking common herbs in a synthetic chemical, that when smoked, induces a high similar to naturally grown marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Agency has recently banned the chemical compounds commonly used to make popular varieties of spice. Service members are subject to routine and random drug tests, and the frequency varies depending on operational tempo and commanders’ discretion.

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