The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure proposed by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard that would allow active duty service members and veterans to use hemp-based CBD products.
Gabbard introduced an amendment to the latest iteration National Defense Authorization Act specifying that “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” as long as the ingredients meet the federal definition of hemp.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran and has advocated for hemp research and use in the past.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Hemp CBD is now federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, but the Pentagon continued its policy of restricting use by active duty service members. The bill also includes a re-enlistment waiver for troops who admit previous marijuana use.
Gabbard is both a military veteran and a hemp advocate in Congress; she previously introduced the Hemp for Victory Act in July 2019, which called for more research into the applications of hemp. That proposed bill takes its name from a World War II-era government film that encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.
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Kevin Knodell covers the military and veterans in Hawaii and the greater Pacific for Civil Beat as a corps member for Report For America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms.