The Pentagon has authorized the testing of troops for LSD following problems found in the Marine Corps, a Marine spokesman tells Marine Corps Times.
On Tuesday the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division announced that his unit has a drug problem and were conducting random LSD tests in an effort to combat the psychedelic drug.
The rest of the Department of Defense may soon see random LSD testing, Capt. Joseph Butterfield told Marine Corps Times.
“Due to increased concerns regarding the usage of LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE by service members, the Office of the Under Secretary Defense for Resiliency approved adding LSD to the Drug Demand Reduction Standard Test Panel in August 2020, commencing in December 2020,” Butterfield said.
The drug was last on the Defense Department’s testing battery in 2006. DoD eliminated it because only four servicemembers had tested positive for the drug after three years and 2,095,398 “specimens screened,” according to a memo from the time.
Since 2006, Marines could only be tested for LSD by law enforcement request.
The change will allow commanders from all branches of the military to test service members for the drug if they have, probably cause, the consent of the servicemember or if it is command directed, Butterfield said.
The commanders will need to work with their service headquarters on exact testing policy, Butterfield said.
The policy change will not allow units to test 100 percent of their unit for LSD as part of a drug sweep or random monthly testing, though a small amount of the samples from such tests can be randomly chosen for LSD screening.
“Due to a limited quota availability related to analysis lab quantity limitations, all commanders, commanding officers, officers-in-charge, or their designated representatives shall obtain authorization for testing from HQMC, Drug Demand Reduction Program before collection of an LSD urine sample, similar to steroid sample collection,” Butterfield said.
Nearly 4,000 Marines with the 2nd Marine Division have been randomly tested for LSD since the unit expanding its testing protocol over the summer. Fewer than 20 Marines have tested positive as of Wednesday, 1st Lt. Dan Linfante, a division spokesman, told Marine Corps Times.
“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 on Tuesday.
“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,” Donovan added.
Contrary to a popular Marine Corps rumor, LSD can be tested through urinalysis, though it only lasts in an individual’s system for two to four days, according to American Addiction Centers.
The exact amount of time it stays in an individual’s system depends on several factors, including how much they took, their age, health and weight, the American Addiction Centers website said.