Military Spouses and Cannabis Use

Updated: November 4, 2022

There are more than 30 states in which cannabis use is legal, either recreationally or medically. Some military spouses who live in states where marijuana is legal sometimes find themselves asking, “Does that mean I can smoke?”

If you’re a military spouse or dependent who is wondering how new cannabis laws affect military regulations, here’s what you need to know.

Can Military Spouses Use Cannabis?

The short answer is yes if it’s legal in your state. The long answer, like most things with the military, is a little more complicated.

Though affiliated with the military, military spouses are civilians in the eyes of the law and the military. So, if something is legal in your state, then military spouses are treated the same as any other civilian.

Cannabis Guidelines for Military Spouses

Even if cannabis is legal in your state, it doesn’t give you free rein to smoke wherever you want. It is prohibited for military spouses to have or use cannabis on government property as it is still a federally controlled substance. Government property includes on base or in any military housing (on base or off). You can’t bring it on base in your car, and you can’t bring it in your house if you’re living in military housing, as that is subject to inspection.

Also, be aware that even if you can use cannabis, your service member cannot. That includes Reservists and National Guard because federal laws bind them. It is illegal federally, so service members cannot participate in any marijuana-related activities. That includes not only ingesting the substance but also attending marijuana-specific events.

You may also want to know whether or not your spouse is in close enough proximity to you to receive a second-hand smoke contact high. If your service member has enough marijuana in their system to show up on a drug test, that could be the end of their career, even if they never smoked.

Lastly, remember that driving while under the influence of marijuana is still considered driving impaired and could land you a DUI.

So, what have we learned?

  1. Yes, military spouses can smoke marijuana if it is legal in the state in which they reside.
  2. No, you cannot bring it on base or in military housing (on base or off) in any form.
  3. Service members cannot, under any circumstances, ingest marijuana regardless of where they live as it is still a federally controlled substance.
  4. Driving with marijuana in your system is still considered driving under the influence.
Written by Team