Armed Forces relax policy on drug abuse

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Eccy, Feb 26, 2006.

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  1. The Armed Forces has secretly lifted its blanket ban on the use of Class A drugs, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

    Soldiers, sailors and airmen caught using cocaine, ecstasy and heroin no longer face automatic dismissal from the Services following the controversial change in policy.

    The new rules come as the Army faces recruitment problems, blamed largely on the unpopularity of the war in Iraq.

    Until last year, any member of the Armed Forces found in possession of or using Class A drugs would have been automatically discharged. Now soldiers below the rank of lance corporal, or its equivalent in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, will not face instant dismissal if they confess to taking Class A drugs or test positive under the military's compulsory drug testing programme. Those above the rank of lance corporal still face instant dismissal.

    The rule change, not announced by the MoD when it was introduced last year, emerged after this newspaper learnt that a recruit who filmed himself snorting a line of cocaine was allowed to remain in the Army.

    Pte Richard Levell, an 18-year-old recruit at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire, confessed to taking the drug in his barrack room after an instructor found the video evidence on his mobile telephone.

    Pte Levell, now with the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was put on an "early intervention programme" designed to warn personnel of the pitfalls of drug abuse. He can be discharged only if he fails to complete the three-day course to the satisfaction of his commanding officer.

    Compulsory drug testing was introduced in 1998 when the Army had a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs. That position altered several years ago when defence chiefs ruled that recruits who had taken "soft" drugs early in their life should not automatically be ruled out of a military career.

    About 600 servicemen and women test positive for drugs every year. Earlier this month 18 soldiers from the Staffordshire Regiment, which had recently returned from Iraq, tested positive for cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

    Most of them are expected to be dismissed from the Army. To date 53 soldiers who had previously served in Iraq have tested positive for illegal drugs.

    Confirming the change in policy, an MoD spokesman said: "Only those servicemen with the potential to succeed in the forces will be allowed to continue."

    Patrick Mercer, a former infantry commanding officer and the Tory shadow homeland security minister, said the ruling defied belief.

    "While I understand the difficulties the forces are having recruiting, this defeats the whole intention of having a drug-clean Army that can be relied upon under intense pressure."

    I joined in 1967 and missed the sexual revolution. Completed my 22 in 91, shortly after that the Army decided to have its own sexual revolution, it is all in the timing. However, potheads with SA 80's WTF!
     
  2. BUT REMEMBER WE ARE NOT DROPPING STANDARDS TO AID RECRUITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. Would you trust someone with a rifle, tank or any other vehicle if you knew that they had a drug problem, 'cos I bloody wouldn't! It is an absolute liability to have them anywhere near the military. Truly outrageous! :twisted:
     
  4. Jesus, What the hell are these people thinking, so when some 18 yr old is sent to the front with his bag of coke stashed away and starts getting all trigger happpy after a few lines they'll wont be imideatlly removed, WHY NOT, its a freaking A Class drug, godknows what side affects like hallucinations etc could have and on someone with such lethal equipment at they're dispossal.
     
  5. Well at least any one caught using canabis can always state they have been following the example of Charlies youngest sprog
     
  6. By allowing such leniency, the MoD is actively encouraging soldiers to use Class A substances in the knowledge that they can do so right up until the point where they are caught, which may take years if he manages to be elsewhere when his unit is CDT'd. Where is the deterent? Very few would be stupid enough to take drugs out on a deployment, but back in the UK they have ready access to it and places to go out of sight of the authorities to use them. Not that the authorities appear to give a sh*t now.

    Isn't it a bit ironic that we are sending soldiers and Marines into Afghanistan to stop the poppy trade and that our Navy is engaged in anti drug smuggling operations in the waters around the West Indies and that we are now being told that it's OK to use Class A drugs, just as long as you admit it when you're caught.

    So what next? It's OK to be in Possession with Intent to Supply Cannabis as it's only a Class C?

    I propose now that all rapists should be allowed to remain in the Service as she was probably gagging for it anyway and that all thieves remain also, as the victim had too much money.

    Manning problem?.....................what Manning problem?
     
  7. I have to say that it is good idea of the Military to relax their stance on drugs. I know quite a few succesful folk who hold down balanced careers and safely relax with drugs at the weekend away from their prime duties. I think that a soldier having a spliff is far better than seeing some thick as pigsh*t bunch of infantry men sat in a NAAFI bar drinking their own weight in Beer & Cider and then having a fight. The trouble is that alcohol is far to easy and encouraged. Times are changing and at last the army is, long overdue say I.
     
  8. Its alright chaps we can still get the ******* on I believe Sect 65 of the armed forces act

    Which I think is all encompassing

    Stop me if I'm wrong but it would still be chargeable surely , just like turning up for parade pissed ?
     
  9. Very good Kieren, are you a Recruiting Sgt per chance?
     
  10. Yep and we should have Pony tails and beards and be able to wear sandals :!: .
    Why don't you just go away and hug your tree :twisted:

    If there was a drug abuser in my unit, I would fully expect to see him get punished for every tiny little misdemeanour until he decided enough was enough or he was put on a 3 monther and ultimately discharged.

    Vindictive? OH YES :lol: :lol:

    Controlled drugs and the army are not conducive :twisted: :twisted: .
     
  11. The next thing we will be doing is sitting in circles cross legged and having a sing song a NAAFI break.

    Fcuking tree hugging B'Stards.

    Sparky.
     
  12. No mention of lower classed drugs. What are the standings with regard to Cannabis? Obviously caught buying or selling will suffer great consequences but if its detected in your blood/urine or on your person, what happens?
     
  13. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Drugs & the Military dont mix! When I was in the RAF we had a tosser on our Squadron who was caught with weed during a routine drugs sweep of the barrack block. What p****d us off more than the drugs was the knowledge that,as Armourers,we were regulary trusting this tosser to do safety checks on the jets we were arming up.
    None of us knew he was a druggie until he was caught.However,we did feel sorry for his father who was a well respected & well known W.O in the weapons trade.
     
  14. Another journo taking his wages under false pretences. This is not "news" - it is policy from over 5 years ago. Those at Private level (and equivalents) will have an insert placed in their docs and will submit to testing again at a random point. Some are thrown out, it depends on level/type/history of abuse, some are given the second chance (or more, sometimes). The Telegraph are bandwagon jumping, clutching at straws to get their anti-forces message in the paper and sell another couple of issues.
     
  15. Well I think we should make smoking an executable offence - oxygen polluting gay leftist nazi commies!