Will The Military Know I Had My Medical Card?

In this question, the pharmacist discusses military eligibility and having a medical marijuana card.
Will The Military Know I Had My Medical Card?

Joe L. Asked

Im just curious if my expired medical card will be on my record when i join the millitary because i know having smoked weed before could disqualify me from a security clearance, but i havent had one for 2 years now and im just wondering if the millitary will know i had it?


The U.S. military has a zero tolerance policy for Schedule I controlled substances. Medical marijuana remains Schedule I at the Federal level.
It's important to be honest about your prior history with medical marijuana before enlisting in the military.
If you held a medical marijuana card prior to enlisting, you might be eligible for a waiver.
Waivers are done on a case by case basis and vary by branch and location, so it'd best to talk to a recruiter to learn more.


Hi Joe, thank you for your question. Let's discuss whether or not having a prior medical card disqualifies you from enlisting in the U.S. military. 

Can I Enlist If I've Had My Medical Card?

Most branches of the U.S. military have a zero-tolerance policy for the use of Schedule I controlled substances (this means drugs with no accepted medical use). The military requests your medical records during the enlistment process. Whether or not they would specifically know about a prior medical marijuana card would depend on various factors, including the extent of their check, and your disclosure about it during the enlistment process. 

It’s important to be honest during the enlistment process to avoid any potential legal issues. Since cannabis is still federally illegal, the military might reject someone for having a prior medical marijuana card. However, special waivers are becoming increasingly common in different branches of the military as more and more states relax cannabis laws, so it may still be possible for you to enlist.

How To Find Out More?

The best course of action would be to speak to a recruiter for the specific branch of the military you are interested in enlisting in. Be honest and let them know that you previously had a medical marijuana card.

Waivers are typically granted on a case-by-case basis, so they will be able to determine your eligibility based on your specific circumstances. It is important to remember that because of the military's zero-tolerance policy, you will receive a drug test, and you must not test positive for any illegal substances, including marijuana, prior to enlisting.

Plan accordingly and be sure to comply with all of the other requirements for enlisting! 

Keep in mind that policies may vary by branch and location. Check the references of this post for links to individual branches of the military where you can learn more and get in touch with a recruiter. 

I hope this helps answer your question! Best of luck and thank you for your interest in serving our country!

  1. U.S. Army Eligibility & Requirements Link.
  2. U.S. Marines General Requirements Link.
  3. U.S. Navy Requirements to Join Link.
  4. U.S. Air Force Requirements and Eligibility Link.
  5. U.S. Coast Guard Eligibility Requirements Link.

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