55th Wing Judge Advocate
/ Published December 19, 2018
A gavel lays on the Uniform Code of Military Justice inside the 28th Bomb Wing courtroom at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., July 17, 2018. The UCMJ is the primary legal code that governs all internal military justice matters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Z. Erwin)
In the United States, federal and state laws regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids are in conflict and may lead to confusion among Airmen. At this time, use of marijuana and cannabidiol oil are illegal federally and in the State of Nebraska.
On Feb. 27 2018, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness reaffirmed the use of marijuana or its chemical components by military personnel is illegal. The provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice apply regardless of state, district, or territorial laws permitting its use.
Additionally, while CBD is legal for use in many states, official Department of Defense and Air Force policy is that CBD Oil is still a schedule I controlled substance, just like marijuana, and thus Article 112a of the UCMJ applies.
Possession, use, distribution, or introduction of CBD to a military installation is a crime punishable by court-martial. According to the Nebraska Attorney General, on Nov. 16, 2018, CBD Oil remains illegal in the State of Nebraska.
Many CBD products are sold in dispensaries or over the internet. Recently, there have been many signs and advertisements around Offutt Air Force Base for CBD Oil. None of these products are approved for use my military members or federal civilian employees.
In addition to legal issues stemming from use, possession or distribution of a controlled substance, products labeled as CBD oil have also caused serious health issues for military members who vaped the CBD products. The Army Public Health Command notice provides more of the details.
Neither CBD nor marijuana are scheduled based upon their Tetrahydrocannabinol content. Rather, they are scheduled based on the portion of the plant each product is created from – for example, the flowering tops and leaves.
While CBD does not metabolize into THC, products labeled as CBD have been found to contain THC, much the same way the term "hemp" is used ubiquitously and is sometimes applied to products containing THC. Thus, use of certain CBD oils can cause positive urinalysis results for THC, but even CBD products with no THC are illegal.