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Photo courtesy Canadian Department of National Defence.

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The Air Force motto is “aim high.” The new motto for Canadian forces could be “I’m high.”

Under regulations finalized this month, Canada’s military has been cleared to smoke marijuana. The change comes as Canada embraces marijuana legalization, bringing its military in line with the new policy for civilians.

“Cannabis consumption and possession ... is permitted provided such consumption and possession is in accordance with all applicable Canadian federal, provincial, territorial and municipal laws, any applicable foreign laws,” the new regulation says.

The new military policy ends drug testing for pot use and allows troops to smoke marijuana while off-duty. There is a prohibition on pot use 24 hours before using a weapon, flying an aircraft or similar duty.

The biggest exception to the marijuana-friendly policy will keep Canadian troops in Colorado Springs from taking a toke. The regulation forbids Canadian troops on international assignments from using pot.

Colorado Springs is home to the largest foreign deployment of Canadian troops, thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

While Colorado has legalized weed for recreational and medical use, the military hasn’t joined the pot party. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, making troops who use it or bring it onto a base subject to courts-martial.

The move by Canada is a rarity in the military world, but it is not a first. Other militaries, most notably the Italians, are hip to weed.

In Italy, which legalized medical marijuana in 2007, the army is the only entity that’s allowed to grow marijuana plants. The Italian army started a pot farm near Florence to cut that nation’s dependence on imported weed.

All hail hail

Hail and farewell parties have been part of military culture for more than a century to welcome new troops and raise a glass to those leaving.

Fort Carson, though, has given the gathering a new twist: The post that was hit with icy baseballs twice this summer is hosting a “Hail and Farewell to Hail.”

The party, planned for Oct. 3 on the post, is a needed chance to laugh for a post that still has windows covered in plywood. The best part: The only ice will be in cocktail glasses. To learn more, slide by https://www.facebook.com/Carson DFMWR/ on the internet.Big and Tiny

While the universe is incalculably vast, the military branch set to defend America’s interest in it will be tiny.

A recently-leaked Air Force memo pegs the size of the proposed Space Force at 13,000 troops. That’s just a bit bigger than the Air Force Academy in Colorado, or about half the size of Fort Carson.

The Air Force plan, which comes in at a relatively cheap $13 billion for the new force, is minimalist in scope. It doesn’t apparently rope in Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the National Reconnaissance Office or the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

The 13,000 troops also represents a big cut from the Air Force’s current cadre of space troops.

On its website, Air Force Space Command says it contains “more than 30,000 space professionals worldwide.” Why the new Space Force would be less than half the size of Space Command is an unexplained mystery.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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