Coast Guard bases maintain zero tolerance policy for pot

KODIAK — Coast Guard officials are cracking down on marijuana use on the base in Kodiak, saying both service members and civilians could face fines or federal criminal charges if found to be in possession of the drug.

While voters legalized marijuana in Alaska two years ago, pot still remains illegal under federal law and its use is prohibited on Coast Guard property.

Capt. Jeffrey Westling, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Base Kodiak, said active duty, reserve and civilian employees are prohibited from using or possessing controlled substances, including pot, on the base.

“It’s a condition of employment, if you will,” Westling told the Kodiak Daily Mirror. “The bottom line is that federal law applies on the federal station.”

Violators who get pulled over on public roadways that cross Coast Guard property can also get cited for marijuana as well as the reason for the traffic stop. The citation can come with a fine or criminal charges.

“It really depends on what was found, what the records show, all of that,” Westling said. “It could be up to and including federal prosecution.”

A person could also be restricted from accessing all Coast Guard property, he said.

“I would bar their ability to utilize any recreational facilities, such as on Aton Larsen, with the exception of driving through on the state funded road,” Westling said. “They could pass, but if they pull over, they would be in violation.

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