Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Defense Bill Amendment Removes DOD CBD/Hemp Prohibition
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, secured an amendment to the annual national defense bill that would ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense may not prohibit the possession, use, or consumption of hemp products — in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law — by servicemembers. This would apply to hemp that meets the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 definition (amended by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018). The Gabbard amendment was included in the final version of the bill which passed on Tuesday, 295-125, and now goes to the Senate for consideration. “There is great research being done around hemp, resulting in new products coming to market that are proven to help with ailments like insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress and more. Hemp products provide a form of treatment that serves as an alternative option for those who would rather pursue natural remedies rather than prescription drugs. This amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, ensuring our servicemembers have access to the same over-the-counter products that Americans all across the country benefit from today,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The 2018 Farm Bill, known as the Agricultural Improvement Act, legalized hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis). Currently, many over-the-counter products are sold that meet these parameters. Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long called for sensible marijuana policies as part of her ongoing commitment to common sense criminal justice reform. She introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Don Young (AK-at large) — the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R. 1588) and the Marijuana Data Collection Act (H.R. 1587). H.R. 1588 would remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list. H.R. 1587 would direct the National Academy of Sciences to study the effects of state legalized medicinal and adult-use marijuana programs from a variety of perspectives, including state revenues, public health, substance abuse and opioids, criminal justice, and employment. She has called for closing the gaps between federal and state law to resolve current contradictions and provide legally abiding marijuana businesses with clear access to financial services. She joined several of her colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act (H.R.1595) in March 2019, which was passed by the House in September 2019. The bill would help prevent federal banking regulators from penalizing depository institutions for providing banking services to a legitimate marijuana-related business. She joined Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in introducing H.R.3884, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. The bill was passed by the committee in November 2019. The bill outlined sweeping reforms, including decriminalizing marijuana, expunging prior convictions, authorizing a tax on its sale which would be reinvested in communities that have been harmed by the federal marijuana prohibition, and ensuring minority communities are equitably engaged in the cannabis economy. She is a cosponsor of H.R.1456, the Marijuana Justice Act, to reform unjust federal marijuana laws and empower minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed War on Drugs. And, to protect veterans engaged in the state-legalized cannabis industry, Rep. Gabbard sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in June 2019 to demand a correction of the VA’s denial of loan guarantee benefits to these veterans. About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaii State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaii Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major.
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