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News > Spice: The drug that can break your career
Spice: The drug that can break your career

Posted 6/28/2011   Updated 6/28/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Ashley Ishmon
17th Training Wing Legal Office


6/28/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- On March 22, 2010, the former 17th Training Wing Commander, issued an order prohibiting the use of synthetic marijuana known as Spice, Salvia and Kratom.

These particular substances alter an individual's mood or function in ways that are similar to the effects of other illegal drugs. Team Goodfellow's mission is to "Train World-Class Firefighting and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Warriors," and for the mission to continue, it is important to prevent Airmen, Marines, Seamen, and Soldiers from using and abusing these substances.

The manuals for Courts-Martial, Air Force Instructions, and the federal Controlled Substances Act specifically speak to the use of Spice. According to AFI 44-121 paragraph 3.2.3, the knowing use of any intoxicating substance, other than the lawful use of alcohol or tobacco products, that is inhaled, injected, or introduced into the body in any manner to alter mood or function is prohibited. The possession of any intoxicating substance described in this paragraph is also prohibited. Additionally, as of March 1, five synthetic marijuana substances were placed on the Schedule I Controlled Substance list. Failure by military personnel to comply with the prohibitions contained in AFI 44-121 paragraph 3.2.3 is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ, and any member of the Armed Forces who is found to be using or possessing Spice or any substances similar to it is subject to prosecution under Article 112a, UCMJ, Wrongful use of Marijuana.

Goodfellow is not alone in its pursuit of a Spice-free military environment. San Angelo is known as a military-friendly town that welcomes any and everyone who is affiliated with the Armed Forces. In December of 2010, San Angelo implemented a city-wide ordinance against the use of Spice, joining Goodfellow in the fight against Spice use and abuse. The ordinance bans Spice which is sometimes sold under the brand name "K2." According to an article published in the San Angelo Times titled "Shops Cited in K2 Hunt," authorities cited several local business establishments for selling synthetic marijuana products and seized over 238 bags of Spice in a recent undercover operation.

The San Angelo Police Department is emphasizing the fact that Spice is a very unsafe product and encouraging people to stay clear of the substance. Studies have shown the effects of Spice include nausea, vomiting, increased agitation, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, seizure, and loss of consciousness. As a paralegal, I give new Airmen preventive legal assistance briefings. One of the things I always mention is the illegal use of Spice and Salvia. I talk to them about the ring of Spice users who faced disciplinary action under the UCMJ and were discharged from the military because of their use and possession of the drug. It is a very unfortunate situation to see a young Airman's career end so soon over bad choices. I hope this article has driven home the importance of remaining drug-free and maintaining integrity.

For more information on this topic contact the Legal Office at (325) 654-3203.





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