cbd illegal in the military

December 15, 2021 By admin Off

So what happens if a member of the military gets caught with the wrong shampoo? While the consequences of being caught using illicit substances, including marijuana, can vary for military personnel and can include court martial or service discharge, the use of CBD specifically violates Article 92 of the UCMJ, which means disobeying an order. The maximum punishment under Article 92 is dishonorable discharge and two years of confinement.

DoD’s February memo directed that criminal provisions for use of hemp products be added to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It specifically notes that this includes CBD.

While research is still relatively sparse, there are a growing number of studies backing many of these claims. Littrel specifically mentioned research out of Israel that linked CBD with faster recovery from traumatic brain injuries in mice.

There is some truth to the Department’s statement. Besides the prescription pharmaceutical Epidiolex, approved to treat a severe seizure disorder, CBD products are generally not FDA-regulated. In fact, it is illegal to even market them as a supplement, a category that has faced criticism for its already-lax regulatory standards.

“If somebody pissed hot or whatever, they would get nonjudicial punishment … and we would have a conversation with their commander as to how to move forward. Something like pot, I don’t think anybody would have gotten kicked out,” Curci recalled, cautioning that the culture and responses could have changed since he left the military.

Curci now has a healthy relationship with marijuana, noting that since leaving the National Guard, he has experienced “positive effects of CBD for psychiatric issues and anxiety issues.”

“These people are risking their lives for us and they can’t use hemp shampoo.”

The new House measure, sponsored by veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), would not automatically grant service members the right to use CBD, but it would take away the Secretary of Defense’s power to install the blanket ban.

“[But] for the military to say there’s no way to guarantee that no THC is in it, that’s inaccurate,” he told Filter . “We have a CBD-only product developed specifically for active-duty members and those employees in drug testing positions… it’s made from isolate. When you isolate a molecule, the only thing in the molecule is that molecule itself.”

“It’s kind of crazy,” he said. “These people are risking their lives for us and they can’t use hemp shampoo.”

For the Department of Defense, however, the issue seems to be less about CBD’s potential efficacy or inefficacy, and more about whether or not a member’s use of a CBD product could interfere with the department’s ability to gauge and monitor drug use.

“In the military, the biggest thing is, when you get an injury, it’s getting back in the fight—how quickly can you get back on your feet, get back in the fight, and take retaliation back on the enemy?” said Littrel. “If CBD can help our active-duty members return to service quicker, why in the world do we not allow that?”

“This [CBD ban] seems very misguided,” added Marino. “If they really have [drug testing and problematic drug use] concerns, they should be working on these concerns instead of preventing military members and US service members from having the shampoo they want or taking a CBD gummy.”

It continues that CBD products are unregulated and unreliable, and therefore have the potential to contain more THC than the consumer might believe. It also states that these products have the potential to cause a THC-positive result on a urinalysis test, and that “since it is not possible to differentiate between THC derived from legal hemp products and illicit marijuana … the use of hemp products could effectively undermine the Department’s ability to identify illicit THC use.”

Littrel also noted a host of health benefits he believes CBD offers, including the reduction of inflammation and anxiety, which could be particularly useful to active-duty military members and veterans. While CBD has only been approved for medical use in the US for certain seizure disorders, people who use and sell the products report health benefits ranging from pain relief to reducing anxiety and depression, treating opioid addiction , and even stopping the spread of cancerous tumors .

“I get why they say it. With a full spectrum product that says ‘CBD only,’ an active-duty member can go and take a bottle thinking it’s only CBD, and then it has THC,” said Joshua Littrel, an Air Force combat veteran and the founder of Veterans for Cannabis, a company that lobbies for the rights of military members to access cannabis while also selling its own line of CBD products.

Many experts sound caution, however. “The research [on the health benefits of CBD] is kind of lacking. There’s not a lot of good evidence for different conditions, but that’s not saying it doesn’t do anything,” Ryan Marino, an emergency medicine physician and toxicologist practicing in Ohio, told Filter. “The human body has CBD receptors within the nervous system, so it totally makes sense that it does something. I think high doses is where we will see effects … A few years from now, there will probably be more evidence saying CBD does things for other conditions.”

A surprising substance has been stirring quiet controversy within the United States military community this year. The use of cannabidiol (CBD) — one of the main active ingredients of cannabis, widely touted for offering a host of potential medical benefits without the “high” of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — is being contested, as legislators work to overturn a ban on CBD use by active-duty military personnel.

In addition to the general DoD ban, several branches of the military have issued their own rules governing the use of CBD products. This includes directives from the Navy that specifically target topical hemp products like shampoo, lotion and lip balm.

“The Department of Defense could … get approved providers,” suggested Littrel as a solution to the issue of the unreliable CBD market. “But they’re not willing to have a conversation. That’s really unfortunate.” He urged those who support the use of CBD to contact their senators and urge them to support Gabbard’s amendment.

To give some idea of the scale of this issue, the US military employs around 1.3 million people, while 14 percent of US adults polled say they use CBD products.

Marino also noted that, to his knowledge, CBD was not able to be absorbed through the skin, making it especially perplexing that topical products are included in the ban.

Prior to this, DoD had unofficially forbidden military members from using CBD, following 2018 legislation by the US government that legalized hemp products containing less than 0.3 percent THC.

When it comes to testing positive for THC due to a CBD product, toxicologists agree that it is unlikely, but not impossible.

Urinalysis testing is particularly controversial. Observed tests—meaning that someone is watching while the sample is produced—can re-traumatize sexual assault survivors or prove impossible for people suffering from paruresis (the inability to urinate in the presence of others). Urine tests are also fairly easy to cheat, and are often unreliable. They also cannot indicate whether or not someone has a substance use disorder, nor can they measure work performance. Nonetheless, drug test results are often misused to gauge both.

“There is great research being done around hemp, resulting in new products coming to market that are proven to help with ailments like insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress and more,” Gabbard is quoted as saying in a July press release .

The DoD memo opens with the statement that “Substance misuse by Service members is a safety and readiness issue, and the Department must remain vigilant in addressing emerging threats, including those that come from new products and sources.”

Mark Curci served in the National Guard until 2004, when he left at the rank of sergeant. He worked in security and administration, which included paperwork on service member reprimands. “If somebody had been busted for marijuana, I would have been the one to bust them,” he told Filter .

The DoD states that these products have the potential to cause a THC-positive result on a urinalysis test.

“It could [cause a THC positive]. In most cases I think it would not, but it could, and you could test positive from taking CBD with that low amount of THC even if you weren’t getting any sort of high or intoxication or THC effect,” said Marino, adding, “It should not mess with a standard urine drug screen.” Other experts commenting for a Vice story agreed that while it was possible THC could accumulate and cause a positive drug test, most standard detection thresholds would prevent this from happening.

The new orders make the use of hemp or CBD punitive across all DoD active-duty and reserve component personnel, including the Navy and Marine Corps, whose members were previously permitted to use topical products such as hemp lotion and shampoo.

As a result, Matthew Donovan, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, released a memo in February 2020 directing all branches of the armed forces to issue regulations or general orders prohibiting the use of hemp products. This memo became public in June 2020 when the DoD’s Operation Supplement Safety, an initiative within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, highlighted the memo in a tweet.

Knowingly using products derived from hemp, including CBD, may result in administrative and/or disciplinary action leading to an Other Than Honorable Discharge. If certain statutory and regulatory bars apply, this could block discharged members from receiving VA benefits and services.

Since the legalization of hemp, the market for CBD has exploded into a $1 billion industry in the United States. However, while CBD is no longer considered a Schedule I substance, the Agriculture Improvement Act did not necessarily legalize all hemp-derived products. Plus, the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the ingredients of dietary supplements.

This means the CBD market is unregulated and untested, making it difficult for a person to tell exactly what they’re buying or using. It’s even possible for troops to test positive for marijuana after consuming a legal CBD product with THC content of 0.3 percent. For these reasons, the DoD can’t realistically maintain a list of approved hemp products.

Why CBD is Banned in the Military.

If a service member is found to have used a CBD product, their commander is required to initiate the administrative separation process. This is true regardless of THC concentration, even if the product was lawfully bought, sold, or used under the law applicable to civilians. CBD use in the military is punishable under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Failure to Obey a Lawful General Order. It is also potentially under Article 112A, Wrongful Use of a Controlled Substance. There are a few exceptions to this, including:

Hemp was removed from the federal government’s list of controlled substances under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. According to this legislation, hemp is legal if it contains less than 0.3 percent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. As a reminder, marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is therefore prohibited in the armed forces under Article 112A.

If you are facing punitive charges for CBD use in the military, Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, can represent you. We have years of experience defending service members stationed around the world.

If you are a service member in the armed forces, you may be wondering about the regulations surrounding CBD in the military. In short, US troops can now be punished for using hemp or CBD products, according to a Department of Defense memo from February that was recently made public.

Donovan said the sweeping prohibition was initiated to “protect the integrity of the drug testing program” and prevent the possibility of a service member testing positive for marijuana after consuming a CBD product.

It’s important to note that the Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense. As such, their policies are permitted to differ. The Coast Guard restricts the ingestion of hemp oil or products made from hemp seed, but it doesn’t forbid food items containing hemp ingredients. Still, Coast Guard personnel are banned from participating in events that celebrate cannabis, as well as entering establishments or making online purchases from stores that sell or promote these products.

Have you noticed that hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD), are becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country? You can now find hemp products ranging from coffee additives and vaping liquids to supplements and candies to ointments and creams. Many product labels claim that CBD is a pain reliever and sleep aid, able to treat numerous ailments such as anxiety, depression, stress, and inflammation.

Learn more about why CBD is prohibited in the military and the types of punishments you could face if you’re found to have used this substance.

To protect themselves from potential violations of law and policy, service members of the armed forces are advised to avoid any hemp-derived CBD products. When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Punishments for CBD Use.

If you, a friend, or a relative has violated the military’s rules on CBD use, you may now be facing a separation hearing. It’s crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible to restore your reputation and fight your discharge from the military. When you work with Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, rest assured that you’ll receive competent advice from a military defense lawyer who formerly served as an Army JAG officer. Let us help you build a case to argue your innocence or work toward lessening your punishment.

To speak with a dedicated legal team about defending against charges of CBD use, please contact us online or call us toll free at 888-616-6177 or (254) 340-0867 . Our compassionate, knowledgeable staff is here to provide you with the best possible legal defense.

The Legalization of Hemp.