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FULLY RETAINED. Although the use was found by the board beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that separation was NOT warranted.

November 17, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Army Missouri National Guard, Springfield, Missouri. Staff Sergeant is accused of the wrongful use and possession of THC following a urinalysis. THC is a substance commonly found in marijuana or cannabis. Additionally, a few months after Staff Sergeant popped hot, his home was raided by local law enforcement on the suspicion of trafficking and the illegal possession of marijuana, methamphetamines and possibly heroin or cocaine. Army National Guard initiated a separation board and Staff Sergeant retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At the board, Gapasin argued that a multitude of mitigating factors warranted against his client's separation. These factors included his time of service of fifteen (15) years, a number of awards and achievements and the extremely low level of THC found in his system of 20 ng/mL, just 5 ng/mL above the DOD cutoff level. Gapasin harped on the fact that his client was medically prescribed THC just 3 months after the hot urinalysis and was therefore legally justified to take it shortly after. Gapasin also pointed to the client's debilitating health situation and how loss of his health insurance with an involuntary separation could result in the collateral consequence of a life-threatening situation. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED. Although the use was found by the board beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that separation was NOT warranted.

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