The U.S. Department of Defense has recently changed its internal rules to make CBD use among soldiers, officers and others illegal.
The move by the Defense Department betrays a fundamental schizophrenia in the way armed forces bureaus handle hemp-related problems, which is not entirely foreign to the struggle seen across the country on this topic.
For many, the new ban on hemp products across the armed services is an abrupt change given that the very same products are legal for the civilian population.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, products derived from industrial hemp have become wildly popular across America since industrial hemp was legalized in 2018.
CBD is related to the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, but CBD doesn’t get its users high and at proper levels remains legal for the average consumer.
People love to use CBD products for their chronic pain, insomnia, arthritis and other everyday issues, though the science behind CBD’s effectiveness is naturally still young and developing.
“I specifically find a military necessity to require a prohibition of this scope to ensure the military drug testing program continues to be able to identify the use of marijuana, which is prohibited, and to spare the U.S. military the risks and adverse effects marijuana use has on the mission readiness of individual service members and military units,” Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan told Military.com.
According to reporting at Quartz, the news from the DoD contrasts deeply with the approach of the Veteran Affairs office, where the recent sale and distribution of hemp-based shoes to its veterans and service members has drawn attention and criticism.
The company Vibram designed and manufactures the strange shoes.
The shoes themselves look whacky enough, with five separate toes and generally unusual design, but the hemp-mixture design doesn’t help when any and all exposure or use of the substance has been outlawed by the Defense Department.
"The Coast Guard does not foresee any change to our clear and firm prohibition on the use of any cannabis-based products by Coast Guard members/employees. In order to protect themselves from potential violations of law and policy, members must make deliberate choices of their behaviors and, if in doubt, err on the side of caution," Coast Guard Spokeswoman Lt. Brittany Panetta told Military.com.