Marines on Acid: Random Drug Tests at USMC Base After Concerns Over LSD Use

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"Floral Hallucination" by tj.blackwell is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The US Marine Corps is dealing with a worsening drug problem. According to a recent report, service members at one military base in North Carolina are being randomly tested after discovery that some Marines and sailors were using LSD.

Rising Number of Sailors and Marines Using Acid

Division Commander of the 2nd Marine Division stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Maj. Gen. Francis Donovan said there have been around 4,000 drug tests administered to Marines and sailors who are on base since this summer. The tests were motivated by the discovery of a rising use of acid among some on base.


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According to Donovan, the USMC’s Camp Lejeune now has random LSD-testing available as well because of the drug use issues happening at the 2nd Marine Division. Donovan acknowledged that his division has a “drug problem” which he takes very seriously and is determined to put a stop to.

“We are committed to identifying the violators of our ethos,” Donovan said, adding that “the vast majority of Marines within the 2nd Marine Division routinely uphold our core values and they deserve to know that the Marines to their left and right are doing the same.”

Marine Corps Policy on Illegal Drug Use

"USMC Guidon" by Randy Son Of Robert is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“USMC Guidon” by Randy Son Of Robert is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Without offering specific numbers, the USMC did acknowledge that more than one military member has tested positive for LSD since the summer. The USMC has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drug use and breach of this can result in a dishonorable discharge or time in military prison.

Because of the growing problem among the USMC, additional military drug testing resources are also being used. Help with testing for LSD is being offered by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) laboratory in Dover, Delaware, since the USMC has never previously tested Marines for LSD in large number.

The use of illegal drugs is a serious problem in the US military and the USMC, although it has declined since a decade ago. A report last summer from Marine Corps Times quoted Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. David Berger saying that he was “deeply concerned” by how many Marines were using drugs and still being allowed to remain in the service.

In total 1,216 Marines tested positive for illegal drugs in 2019. The USMC has a stricter no drugs policy than the Department of Defense. Between 2009 to 2019 the USMC booted 11,765 members for drug and alcohol use.

Ongoing Controversies and Declining Military Standards

Controversy and infiltration of the ranks is nothing new to the US military in recent months, with “commie cadet” Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone being kicked out of the US Army this past June after posting messages on social media saying “communism will win” and giving the middle finger to Fort Drum military base. Rapone expressed support for a violent political uprising and said he considers himself a “revolutionary socialist.”

The growing trend of drug liberalization across the country is also bad news for the military. Oregon recently decriminalized all possession and personal use of all drugs, including meth and heroin, while marijuana – which has significant mental health risks – is being legalized in an increasing number of states.

While America’s adversaries including China become stricter about drug use and more severe in punishment, the influence of pro-drug Hollywood films, progressive legislators and permissive popular culture and spreading the prevalence of illegal drugs and popularizing their use, including within military ranks. The use of illegal drugs – especially hallucinogenic drugs like LSD – could quickly lead to potentially fatal consequences, particularly in deployment and combat situations.

Hallucinogenic substances such as LCD have wildly unpredictable effects on individuals and can potentially cause complete disorientation, vivid hallucinations, dangerous psychosis and even suicide.