CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Military leaders are still struggling with a solution following a shock revelation Tuesday that "Monster" brand energy drinks do not in fact cause service members to test positive on drug tests.
"This is a game changer at all levels," said Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Pangborn, the chief enlisted leader at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. "For years we've been giving our Marines a pass when they pissed hot because they claimed it was the Monster. Kind of like when you eat an MRE with the poppy seed cake, it makes you piss hot."
Now, Panborn said, military leaders believe many previously cleared troops were actually using cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, or worse. "This just changes everything," he added.
The shocking news comes following an intensive study by the Army Criminal Investigative Division forensics lab in Quantico, Va., with cooperation from other service branches.
"We will have to revisit years of old thrown-out positive results," said Command Sgt. Maj. Wolf Hammacher-Schlemmer, in a phone call from from Ft. Bragg. "We just assumed those were false positives and gave those guys a pass, but now ... all those guys, even some battalion and brigade commanders who drank Monster, it turns out they were riding the Horse With No Name."
The head forensic scientist at Quantico's lab confirmed the results.
"I hate giving bad news," said Dr. Ink Zemen, "But you know what they say. Bad news doesn't get better with age. So it's better to give these commanders the information and let them decide what to do with it. Will all those old positive results be revisited and prosecuted? That isn't for me to say."
The Pentagon would not reveal whether it had issued formal guidance to commanders, but sources close to Gen. Martin Dempsey claim next steps come down to either blanket amnesty or discharging all troops affected. With deep military budget cuts in effect, sources claimed the Pentagon was leaning toward discharges for thousands of troops.