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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2018

Federal laws keep marijuana illegal for military members

By Senior Airman Elijaih Tiggs 319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Although the legalization of recreational and/or medicinal use of marijuana is growing at the state level, it is important to understand that federal law has not changed concerning the matter. This notice is intended to serve as a reminder that the use of marijuana, cannabidiol, cannabinoid derivatives, and THC-infused products is prohibited for military members. Wrongful use and/or possession of these substances is unlawful under the Uniform Code of Military Justice via Article 112A.

Additionally, AFI 90-507, Military Drug Demand Reduction Program, para. 1.1.6 states as follows: Studies have shown that products made with hemp seed and hemp seed oil may contain varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient of marijuana, which is detectable under the Air Force Drug Testing Program. In order to ensure military readiness, the ingestion of products containing or products derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil is prohibited. Failure to comply with the mandatory provisions of this paragraph by military personnel is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ. Violations may result in administrative disciplinary action without regard to otherwise applicable criminal or civil sanctions for violations of related laws.

Being that UCMJ actions can be applied to situations concerning the possession or use of marijuana products and byproducts, the Air Force’s Judge Advocate office strongly advises Airmen be aware of what products they use.

“From a legal perspective, the big takeaway is that we want our Airmen to be savvy consumers,” said Capt. Christina Zanic, 319th Air Base Wing Judge Advocate office chief of military justice. “Products containing cannabidiol and marijuana extracts are quickly growing in popularity and accessibility. Despite this, it’s always important for Airmen to understand the law as it applies to them as a military member.”

When using electronic cigarettes, vape products, etc., it is important to thoroughly research them and carefully read the labels to ensure that no cannabinoids or other marijuana derivatives are included in the ingredients. Additionally, please exercise caution when using other products that could potentially contain CBD or THC, such as dietary supplements, foods or beverages.

More information can be found at https://www.opss.org/faqs/cannabidiol-are-products-cbd-legal.

If you have any legal questions concerning this matter or other UCMJ Articles contact your local Judge Advocate office. If you need assistance after being charged with an offense against the UCMJ, contact your agency's Area Defense Counsel. If you have any questions about the Air Force Drug Testing Program, contact your installation's Drug Demand Reduction center.