A recent Tweet and blog post from an Air Force base in Massachusetts restates what they have been saying for the past few years since hemp legalized federally under the 2018 Farm Bill. All hemp and cannabis products are not allowed on base, no matter what. “Even if it’s for your pet, it’s still illegal,” the tweet read. Even though this statement came from the Massachusetts Air Force Base, the implications are implied for all bases.
Interestingly, Massachusetts is a state that offers a wide variety of cannabis and hemp legalization measures. In 2012, Massachusetts joined the growing number of states legalizing medical cannabis for qualifying patients. Then in 2016, the state became one of the first to also legalize recreational cannabis for adults over 21. Finally, in 2018, around the same time as the Farm Bill, Massachusetts legalized hemp products like CBD and Delta 8.
But the state laws do not supersede the laws of the military, which follow federal laws. And since cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug by the DEA and the US Federal Government, then the military will adopt the same rules.
This isn’t the first time that a branch of the US Military has barred hemp and cannabis based products. In 2019, the Department of Defense stated that all active and reserve service members from using all hemp and cannabis products, which include CBD and Delta 8.
Also in 2019, a notice was sent to members warning them against CBD products even though they had become federally legal thanks to the Farm Bill. Some products still contained trace levels of THC in them and that is not allowed for any service member. It will show up on their random drug tests and could get a service member in trouble or removed from their branch of service.
Service members found with THC, CBD, or hemp products will receive disciplinary action. Actions could include a loss of rank and/or pay. There could also be the potential for court orders and federal charges if deemed appropriate by the commanding officers. Along with the most recent statement from the Massachusetts base, a warning was also sent to visitors. They needed to follow the rules too if they wanted to come onto base.
“The line between state and federal laws begins and ends at our gates,” said Tech. Sgt. Kyle Majorana. He’s part of the 66th Security Forces Squadron as a noncommissioned officer in charge of police services and physical security for the Massachusetts base. They just want to keep everyone safe, so rules must be followed.
These laws could change if cannabis is descheduled and/or decriminalized by the US Congress and signed into law by the President. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) is lobbying for cannabis legalization. That has been met with some opposition from the Republican party as well as President Biden. Legalization seems to be at least a few more years away. And as the law stands, the military will keep hemp and cannabis products banned from their bases.
Make sure to check back for more cannabis and hemp related news.