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Military Officials Warn Soldiers to Avoid All CBD Products or Risk Punishment
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Following up on past warnings from the Marines and NASA, more military officials spoke up this month to confirm a total ban on CBD use by soldiers.
Published on January 28, 2020

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A pair of social media posts from the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force has emphasized the military’s stance on CBD use by active soldiers: Don’t touch the stuff. 

First spotlighted by Marijuana Moment writer Kyle Jager, the dual Twitter posts focused on both hemp and cannabis-derived CBD, and noted a zero-tolerance policy across all levels of military service. 

“The Department of Defense has a zero tolerance policy for the illegal or improper use of drugs by service members, which includes CBD oil,” officials at the DoD’s Military Health System tweeted late last week. “There are a very limited number of human studies, and researchers are unsure of how CBD interacts with other medications.”

This past summer, officials from the Navy, Marines, and NASA all issued memos denouncing the non-intoxicating cannabis compound. But since hemp-derived CBD is legal across the US thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabidiol products are readily available everywhere from health food shops to ice cream parlors and gas stations. And while it is not exactly clear what prompted the latest set of military warnings, it’s safe to say that officers and administrators have taken notice of the CBD trend just like everyone else.

“Airmen are responsible for what they put in their bodies, and trusting a faulty label or using CBD for certain health benefits may not overcome the presumption of wrongful use if discovered during a lawful search,” Air Force Major Paul Luongo said in a notice to airmen published earlier this month. Major Luongo went on to warn active duty pilots that any failed drug tests, including screenings for CBD, would result in harsh punishment, including potential loss of rank.

As cannabis reform laws have taken hold in every corner of the US over the past decade, the military has taken a firm anti-weed stance. Still, despite arbitrary CBD bans and the VA being restricted from interacting with state-legal cannabis, retired military veterans have become some of the legal weed industry’s most successful business owners and activists.

But while cannabis has been a godsend for former soldiers left with both physical and mental wounds after their combat days are over, active duty soldiers are not yet afforded those same freedoms.

“Bottom line, even if legal on the state level, and even if the label of the CBD product states there is no THC content, CBD use remains prohibited for military members,” Air Force Capt. Marcus Walker told Marijuana Moment. “Current Air Force policy prohibits all marijuana derivatives, including hemp. If they use it, they risk a positive result for THC on a drug test, and as a result, they could ultimately face administrative or criminal action.”

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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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