The East Coast’s 2nd Marine Division has a drug problem, according to its commanding general. And it may have an LSD problem.
The division implemented random LSD testing during the summer due to “recent incidents involving Marines or sailors,” according to a press release published Tuesday on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
In the past, the Corps would only test individuals for LSD if law enforcement requested it, the release said.
“We have a drug problem in the 2d Marine Division,” Maj. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, commanding general for the division, said in a press release.
These drugs have the potential to “significantly heighten alertness, creativity, and problem solving."
Roughly 4,000 urinalysis tests for the mind-altering drug have been conducted since the policy changed in the summer, Linfante said. Fewer than half a percent of those tested have popped positive for the drug, Linfante said.
Marine Corps Times has asked for clarification on how many 2nd Division Marines have been tested and how many have tested positive for LSD, but half a percent of 4,000 tests would be 20 positive tests.
Linfante confirmed Tuesday evening that less than 20 Marines have tested positive
Marines abusing drugs is “unfortunately not new,” 1st Lt. Dan Linfante, a division spokesman, told Marine Corps Times in a Tuesday email. “What’s new here is that the 2d Marine Division is now testing specifically for LSD, along with the many other substances we’ve long tested for – both randomly and in every other way possible.”
“We are committed to identifying violators of our ethos,” Donovan said in the press release. “The vast majority of Marines within the 2d Marine Division routinely uphold our core values, and they deserve to know that the Marines to their left and right are doing the same.”
In April 2019, Maj. Gen. David J. Furness, the then commander of the 2nd Marine Division, sent out a policy letter detailing a basic daily routine every Marine in the division was to follow, citing a “significant decline” in discipline.
“We have allowed Marines and Sailors to walk around with long hair, nonexistent or poor shaves, unserviceable boots and utilities and improper civilian attire,” the letter read. “There are weeds growing around our building and work spaces and trash everywhere but the dumpsters where it belongs.”
“A general lack of attention to detail and corrective action by peers and leaders results in lower discipline and destroys the foundation on which the Marine Corps was built — ironclad discipline.”
Linfante said Tuesday that the change was not due to any serious decline in discipline in the division, but rather a small number of incidents still under investigation.
“The vast majority of the 16,000-plus Marines and Sailors in the 2d Marine Division are not only not engaging in substance abuse of any kind, but, more importantly, they are routinely displaying the high standards of professionalism and conduct that we expect of our Marines and Sailors,” Linfante said.
A representative for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was unable to comment about ongoing investigations.
In September 2019, Marine Cpl. Andrew Christian Gray was arrested along with 19-year-old Alexia Seely and charged with felony trafficking in LSD by sale, felony trafficking in LSD by deliver, felony trafficking in LSD by manufacture and felony trafficking in LSD by possession, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
Gray was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, at the time of his arrest.
“Zero tolerance is the Marine Corps’ stance, and Marines need to understand that there is no drug that they can take without the means for government detection,” Lt. Col. Christian Ruwe, the staff judge advocate for the division, said in the press release.