Since she ran for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii hasn’t popped up much in national news.
Now, Gabbard has a new set of headlines bearing her name. On Monday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to its current military provisions charter, the National Defense Authorization Act, that would allow active service members to partake of cannabis products like CBD and hemp oil.
The move contravenes a previous directive from the Defense Department that forbade all active duty personnel from using CBD and other cannabis and hemp products, even though they are legal.
Industrial hemp was made legal in 2018 even though marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act.
This misalignment in the legal framework has lead to confusion. Industrial hemp and its derivative products contain trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, even though they don’t intoxicate users in the same way weed does.
Still, THC is part of mandatory drug tests in the military, which is a likely explanation for why the Pentagon decided to prohibit CBD and hemp use, to be sure no false-positive test results were being found.
According to Newsweek and the Fresh Toast, a blog that specializes in cannabis industry news, the amendment includes the following language:
“The Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces.”
Newsweek reports that Gabbard’s amendment passed through the House 336 to 71 and now awaits Senate approval.
According to reports, Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego also added an NDAA amendment that would let service members re-enlist after admitting to using marijuana or facing a federal marijuana charge.
Benzinga reports that there were around 12 other amendments to the NDAA passed a the same time that didn’t relate to cannabis.
Prominently, President Trump threatened to veto the NDAA re-approval for its amendment that would rename military bases that took their names for confederate leaders.
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