Pentagon Quietly Moves To Make CBD Use A Criminal Offense For Troops

The orders make use of CBD punitive across all DoD personnel

U.S. troops can now be punished for using products that contain hemp or cannabidiol, according to a Defense Department memo recently made public.

In February, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan directed the services to issue general orders or regulations by March 1 prohibiting the use of products made from hemp under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Donovan’s memo, dated Feb. 26, was highlighted Monday in a tweet by the DoD’s Operation Supplement Safety, an initiative within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences that provides information to service members on dietary supplements.

Troops have known since last year that most products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, were off-limits, with two of the four DoD services issuing guidance restricting use of any form of CBD, including in supplements, creams, ointments and tinctures.

But the new orders make use of hemp and CBD punitive across all DoD active-duty and reserve component personnel, including the Navy and Marine Corps, whose members were allowed under the Department of the Navy to use topical products like shampoo, lotions and creams.

Donovan said the move was needed to “protect the integrity of the drug testing program.”

“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,” he wrote.

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