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vietnam war soldiers smoking weed

Vietnam war soldiers smoking weed

Image: Jim Wells/AP

In 1970, the U.S. military was transitioning out of its offensive combat role in the Vietnam War, tasking its soldiers with training South Vietnamese troops and maintaining defensive garrisons.

To contend with boredom and low morale, many GIs turned to smoking marijuana, which grew plentifully throughout the country.

On Nov. 13, 1970, a documentary crew captured footage of American soldiers unwinding at fire support base Aries, a small clearing in the jungles of War Zone D, 50 miles northeast of Saigon.

The squad leader, Vito, a 20-year-old draftee from Philadelphia, demonstrates for the camera how his squad uses “Ralph,” a 12-gauge shotgun.

After ejecting a number of shells from the weapon, Vito places a bowl of marijuana in the chamber, and offers long drags from the business end of the shotgun to his comrades.

A similar scene would later appear in the 1986 film Platoon, written and directed by Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone.

No, we do not condone ever attempting this method.

In case you thought that one scene from 'Platoon' was made up… Also, don't ever try this. Ever.

Soldiers ‘shotgunning’ weed in Vietnam

American soldiers relax by smoking marijuana through the barrel of an unloaded shotgun at base camp near Saigon.

In 1970, the United States was finally transitioning out of the Vietnam War. To deal with the low morale and boredom, many GIs chose to smoke marijuana, which grew plentifully throughout the country.

A documentary crew captured footage of American soldiers unwinding at fire support base Aries, a small clearing in the jungles of War Zone D, 50 miles northeast of Saigon.

The squad leader, Vito, a 20-year-old draftee from Philadelphia, demonstrates for the camera how his squad uses “Ralph,” a 12-gauge shotgun.

After ejecting a number of shells from the weapon, Vito places a bowl of weed in the chamber, and offers long drags from the business end of the shotgun to his fellow soldiers.

Archival footage of American soldiers smoking marijuana through the barrel of an unloaded shotgun at base camp near Saigon.