Possessing CBD-infused pet shampoo can get you kicked out the US military. That’s just the tip of the iceberg

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The last bastion of cannabis prohibition in the US will be the military: Currently, all active and reserve service members can’t use any form of cannabis, including hemp-based products like CBD that have been federally legalized. And those prohibited products include CBD shampoos, lotions & topicals – even if it’s for your pet.

The rationale is THC contamination: What if the pet shampoo label wasn’t accurate and there was THC present? In that case, as the Navy puts it, it “could negatively impact mission readiness . . . This really is about the health of the force and ensuring the Navy remains a drug-free workplace . . . We have to be fit to fight and can’t take a risk in allowing our Sailors to consume or use these types of products.”

Setting aside the impeccable logic of a shampoo high, on the issue of the health of the force the military have it exactly backwards, says former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard while deployed in Iraq from 2004 to 2005:

Being able to have other options of alternative forms of treatment other than, ‘Hey, just take another Motrin or prescription drug X, Y or Z’ is something that can actually increase our service members’ health and wellbeing and, ultimately, their readiness to be able to do their job.

Both service members and the literature alike agree that CBD helps with the nemesis of too many veterans – trauma. Take just one instance of it, military sexual trauma (MST), which can happen during peacetime, training, or war, and notice the staggeringly high numbers.

Among Veterans who use VA health care, about:

  • 23 out of 100 women (or 23%) reported sexual assault when in the military.
  • 55 out of 100 women (or 55%) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38%) have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

According to the landmark documentary film about MST, The Invisible War, > 108 000 veterans screened positive for MST in 2010 alone, hence the question: How many more have fallen victim since then?

And how many could have been helped by medical cannabis but weren’t? How many couldn’t be all they could be because of a male-driven policy choice that seems written in a time when men went to war with muskets?

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