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New cop drug tests could differentiate between CBD and marijuana


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Police have long used drug tests to find who’s on the up-and-up and who is using illicit drugs. Now, however, CBD is making that line far more blurry.


CBD, as most are aware, is the relative of marijuana derived from hemp that doesn’t get its users high. As more people turn to it, police are more and more worried about false positives in their tests.


Whether or not police should be enforcing laws against peaceful pot users when a whole slew of states in the Union have legalized the stuff isn’t really at issue here. Truth is, no matter how one feels about pot laws, the less false positives when it comes to drug stops and arrests, the better off everyone will be.


According to an NBC affiliate in Washington, a test made available to U.S. police in June can discern between types of cannabinoids, reducing bad arrests and false positives for those who simply use CBD, which is legal. [1]


The tests were invented in Switzerland to identify cannabis compounds with less than 1% THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — as allowable, according to NBC. [1]


"With the way laws are changing in each state, this could blow up probably overnight," distributor of the new drug tests John Waldheim told the NBC affiliate. [1]


Those hoping to be especially relevant by using the new tests at the Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s office have even phased out traditional THC tests completely in favor of the more cutting edge tests. [1]


"We wanted to get ahead of the game," Lauderdale Police Chief Constance Stanley said. "We definitely don't want to put anyone who's innocent in jail.” [1]


Florida officially legalized CBD July 1, though the substance has been licit at the federal level since late 2018. [2]


Meanwhile, Florida police stations are warning officers not to jump on board the CBD trend for fear of turning up drug tests that implicate cops. [2]


First Coast News reports that police in Jacksonville, Florida and elsewhere in the state recently received a memo warning them against using increasingly popular CBD products. [2]


Still, cops won’t face legal consequences for using the legal supplement.


“It’s not an offense to test positive,” Lawyer Tad Delegal told First Coast News. “It’s an offense to use illegal drugs, so if CBD oil is a legal medication -- which I believe it is -- they can’t discipline officers for the use of that legal medication.” [2]


Part of the reason for the confusion is that CBD is highly popular and breaks down class and generational boundaries usually associated with traditional marijuana use. Plenty of people from all walks of life love CBD for their chronic pain, anxiety, sleeplessness and even some forms of epilepsy.


Sources

[1] https://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/New-Police-Drug-Test-Aims-to-Tell-Pot-From-CBD-512891941.html

[2] https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/jso-warns-officers-to-avoid-popular-cbd-oils/77-3e8d2d02-c5ca-45c1-aef4-1c1927bff4ca

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