My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
U.S. Military Refuses to Pucker Up for Hemp-Based Lip Balm
Hemp has received a considerable amount of media coverage since the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill, and the demand for products made from it has also steadily increased. Many states have enacted hemp legislation, and farmers in several states are now permitted to grow it under state regulated pilot programs.
Unfortunately, while hemp is slowly becoming mainstream, it is still widely misunderstood. Not everyone is supportive of industrial hemp's reemergence. Groups like the DEA and branches of the U.S. military continue to view hemp as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Not only is the DEA unsupportive, it has introduced anumber of roadblocks to prevent the industry’s success. Additionally, hemp seeds and hemp oil have remained on the list of substances forbidden by many branches of the United States military as part of its anti-drug policy since the 1990s due to concerns that it could interfere with the results of drug tests regularly administered to service members.
The amount of THC hemp products contain is miniscule, and cannot possibly cause someone to fail a drug test. An independent study conducted by Vote Hemp found that eating a half-pound of commercial hemp seeds would be unlikely to cause someone to fail a drug test.
Even with this information, the military has not changed its stance on the matter. The most recent target of the military’s war on drugs? Lip balm. In December, a few hundred tubes of lip balm containing hemp oil were confiscated from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. In response to the “incident”, spokesperson 1st Lt. Michael Harrington said:
“We believe in taking the route of utmost caution with our service members and their families’ health, and this case is no exception.”
The recalled lip balm is just one of many hemp products that have raised flags at military bases over the years. Other popular items like Kind bars and Chobani yogurt have made headlines in military news for containing hemp seeds.
Considering all of the health benefits of hemp food and body products, you would think we would want our service men and women to have access to the most complete protein available. It would seem that these agencies are misinformed on the properties of hemp products. How are we supposed to put out a positive message about hemp when the DEA and U.S. military are making preposterous untrue claims? It's ironic that hemp played such a crucial role in WWII, yet it is completely banned for military use today.
While hemp is well received for the most part, the opposing views from the federal government and military are confusing and misleading to those seeking legitimate information. One of our biggest goals is to educate the public and to provide a reliable source of legitimate hemp information through our website and social media platforms. We have been encouraged by the industry’s growth in recent years and hope to see hemp be removed from the list of controlled substances and from substances prohibited by the military.