Yesterday, the House of Representatives accepted a defense bill that entails language cautioning military leaders to be discrete during enforcement of cannabis-related punishments against recruits.
For two years now, the House of Democrats hasn’t had fruitful negotiations with the Senate on bolder marijuana policy changes. These measures were featured in the chamber’s initial version of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)
One House-approved regulation would have needed the defense secretary to provide rules that state that military departments can issue reenlistment waivers to recruits charged with a single minor marijuana offense. However, the Senate failed to include that amendment in their NDAA reform, and the Democratic conferees had to recede to the other department in the end version.
On the bill’s joint statement, bicameral conferees featured language asserting that military department secretaries are authorized to permit reenlistment and enlistment with an exemption for MJ use depending on the military department’s needs.
They said that conferees motivate military department secretaries to appropriately use their authority to make sure military departments don’t exclude talent from the eligible folks who decide to serve.
Another House-accented reform receded by the chamber would have legally prevented the Defense Secretary from interdicting service members against consumption or possession of CBD or Hemp products that’re legal according to the federal and state law. No explanation was featured in the report regarding why House representatives didn’t strive for its addition to the absolute bill.
Despite cannabinoid legalization from the 2018 Farm Bill, the Defense Department and other multiple military departments under it have availed a myriad of memos indicating that members of the service are prohibited from CBD use. The Navy recently disclosed that it proscribed the use of hemp-related products, such as shampoos and topicals, since some products may be mislabeled and have excess THC.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sponsored this latter reform. In an interview during early 2020, he said that the military’s counter-hemp regulations indicate the extreme negative view of CBD products.